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Young Carers

Supporting Young Carers and Siblings at Brookland Infant and Nursery School

 

At Brookland Infant and Nursery school we are aware some of our pupils are young carers – children who are under 18 who are caring unpaid for a family member who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems. We also have some pupils who are a sibling of a child with additional needs such as autism or are physically disabled.

 

Young carers and siblings are a vulnerable group who frequently experience difficulties in their education as a result of their caring role.

 

The school has identified Jenny Catley as the school’s Young Carers Operational Lead who will work with Eleanor Furze, Inclusion Leader, in order to ensure we can identify and offer support to children within our school.

 

 

BYCAS – Barnet Young Carers and Siblings

Please see below what BYCAS offers

 

Young Carers often take on responsibilities that go beyond what we would expect any children or young people to do. Cooking meals, cleaning the house, running errands, providing emotional support, providing personal care. The life of a Young Carer can sometimes see traditional household responsibilities turned upside down.

 

We understand that sometimes it is this added responsibility that can impact the Mental Health of a Young Carer. Having to juggle caring responsibilities; school/college and a social life is not easy. It can influence stress, anxiety and sometimes a sense of feeling alone in a situation with nobody understanding what they are going through.

 

Helping young carers – mental health and wellbeing

 

BYCAS services
We currently provide a range of services to young carers in Barnet and hope to expand the availability of what we offer over the next year.  We provide services both in and out of school as well as working with other agencies within the Borough.

 

1:1 Mentoring
1:1 Mentoring provides a confidential space for Young Carers to voice any worries and struggles they may be having. Mentoring is carried out on the young person’s terms and is structured in a way that best suits their needs. Mentoring can be used as a space to allow a young person to get some worries ‘off their chest’, or to work constructively with a BYCAS team member to set simple goals together. Either way, BYCAS are here to support the young person with making their day-to-day feel more manageable and to ensure their needs are being listened to.

 

Peer-Mentoring 
Peer-mentoring groups provide young people with the opportunity to build confidence and connect with others in similar situations. It allows the Young Carer to acknowledge that they are not alone and that there are other young people in their school or community with shared experiences. The groups involve insightful discussions around focused topics in relation to young people’s issues. The relaxed environment encourages young people to have their voices heard, build new friendships and to have fun, whilst being provided with tools to help them with their every day.

 

Young carers are not alone...

… in what they are thinking or feeling.  Many other people have been in the same place.  The BYCAS Team at Barnet Carers has the experience and skills to help and support young carers in what you are going through. 

 

Counselling
If an emotional need is appearing complex and in need of more specialised support, young carers aged 16+ are able to access professional counselling at our Centre. It is up to a young person to decide whether they would like to access this support, otherwise we can work with them to find a service that may be better suited to their needs. For those below the age of 16, BYCAS work in partnership with a number of counselling services in the borough to ensure they can also have access to this type of support.

 

The young carers that we work with play a huge role in their families and that means that they find it very difficult to take part in the social activities that are normal for children of their age.

 

What do we do?

Activities: (Transport is available upon request)
Arts & Crafts – 2 Sessions per month. Please refer to the Events calendar for more info.
HUB’s – 2 HUB’s per month at 2 different locations, which are divided by age. Please refer to the HUB’s page for more info.
Outings/events:
Throughout the year, we host a variety of events and day trips to promote young carers’ social engagement and cultural awareness.

 

Young carers are under constant pressure from the need to balance caring with school work and a social life.  This can lead to stress, anxiety and difficulties in forming relationships.  Many young people keep their caring role a secret due to a fear of being stigmatised.  Of the 800 plus young carers that are registered with Barnet Carers Centre, over 20% have the role of the main carer.  Being the main carer means that isolation is a real issue as these young people have much less opportunity to leave the home due to what can be very intensive caring duties.  School attendance is often affected which has an impact on their performance and they often fall far behind.

 

All of this ultimately has an effect on their emotional well-being as they attempt to balance all areas of their life.

 

Most of these young carers live in benefit-dependent households and the majority in single-parent families, meaning there is often not another person that alleviates their daily caring role.

 

If you would like further information, please contact Eleanor Furze at senco@brooklandinf.barnet.sch.uk or BYCAS directly at info@barnetcarers.org or call 020 8343 9698

 

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