Skip to main content

Guidance to support schools and colleges at a time when young carers become a 'legal entity' for the first time.

The Children and Families Act, introduced in April 2015, includes new measures to support young carers. This new legalisation places new responsibilities on schools and colleges, outlined in section 5.

‘Hidden from View’, a 2013 report by the Children Society tells us ‘Caring can cost young people dearly if they are not given opportunities to participate in all aspects of life. Many young carers need support because they can miss out on a huge range of opportunities that so many other children and young people take for granted. Children must be allowed to thrive and enjoy their childhoods, not to be relied upon to take caring roles that are too often inappropriate.’

Early identification and support for young carers is crucial if we are to avoid the potential negative impact that caring can have on their lives, affecting their education, future chances of employment and economic success.

Tackling the problems young carers face is not only good for vulnerable young people and their families – it could also be good for schools and colleges, reducing unexplained absence, improving behaviour and the setting’s performance.

Schools and colleges can contribute by:

  • identifying young carers in their school community
  • working alongside other agencies to provide access to assessment and relevant services
  • developing whole school or college policies and working practices in their setting that promote the health and wellbeing, child development, educational achievement and transition into adulthood of young carers

The document in the related documents area contains guidance and information on how to help young carers in your school.

The Childrens Society, with more than 166,000 young carers across the country, raises awareness of their needs, campaigns for policy change, supports schools, and works to see that these young people get the future and support they deserve.

Derbyshire Young Carers’ Service  provides support to Young Carers across the county. Young Carers services are provided by Derbyshire Carers Association. Following a referral, a young carer will receive a family assessment and then be given access to one to one support, groups and activities. Support is also available for schools, through training, awareness raising and guidance with supporting young carers. The Young Adult Carer Service supports Carers aged 18 – 25 with the transition to Adult Carer Services.

Schools can apply for the Derbyshire Young Carers School Award, accredited in conjunction with Derbyshire County Council to acknowledge their support of young carers. Please contact Derbyshire Carers Association for further information, email: youngcarers@derbyshirecarers.co.uk or tel: 01773 833 833.

Also see