To mark Young Carers Action Day 2021, today’s blog comes from Councillor Helen Godwin, Cabinet Member for Women, Families and Homes, and Lead Member for Children’s Services.
Young carers (aged under 14) and young adult carers (aged 14-25) help to look after family members or friends who are ill, disabled, have a mental health condition or misuse drugs or alcohol. Young Carers Action Day highlights these remarkable young people and celebrates their skills, talents and strengths.
Young carers and young adult carers gain a multitude of diverse skills through their caring roles which makes them excellent candidates for higher education, meaningful employment and much more. However, they often require support to realise their full potential and achieve their ambitions.
We recognise the increased pressure that has been placed on these young people during the covid-19 pandemic. The impact of lockdown and tier restrictions, school closures, financial pressures and the threat of the virus itself on the health of the vulnerable family members/friends for which they care means that now more than ever they need our support.
That’s why this year’s theme for Young Carers Action Day is “Protect Our Futures”.
It is vital that we engage with this phenomenal group of young people in our inclusive recovery plans to ensure they don’t get left behind. For this reason, we have developed our Young Carers and Young Adult Carers Strategy 2021-25. We listened to what our young carers and young adult carers had to say – their concerns, needs and wishes for the future – and we placed these at the heart of this strategy, which is currently out for consultation.
Through this process, four main priorities for action have been identified:
- Early identification and recognition of all children and young people who are in caring roles. It is important that young carers get support when they need it and do not have to wait until the family is at the point of crisis. It is vital that everyone recognises who young carers are and the effect their caring responsibilities can have on their lives.
- Timely assessments for young carers and young adult carers which understands their education, health, social and transition needs.
- There is a range of services and activities which enable young carers and young adult carers to enjoy their childhood and move into adulthood.
- Young carers and young adult carers have opportunities to voice their opinions on services and policies which affect them.
To read more about our proposals for supporting these priorities and to let us know what you think, you can respond to the consultation here: Young Carers and Young Adult Carers Strategy 2021 – 2025 – Bristol – Citizen Space
The consultation will close on Sunday 25th April.