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Young Carers Action Day 2024

Gary Seath 1 month ago

Influencing Policy Media

Young Carers Action Day 2024

This year’s theme promotes a fair future for young carers.

Young Carers Action Day is an annual awareness day for young and young adult carers.

The day focuses on building a more equal future for young carers and removing barriers that many of their peers do not face.

 

We can all play a part in making fair futures for young carers a reality: governments, local authorities, schools, colleges, charities – everyone.

Being a young carer shouldn’t be a barrier to a young person’s dreams. It should be a stepping stone to a brighter future.

 

Want to learn more?
Download our Young Carers Day Briefing.

Download now

What is a young carer?

A young carer can be anyone, aged 25 and under, who cares for a friend or family member who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem, or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.

The things young carers will do.

  • Practical tasks, like cooking, housework, and shopping.
  • Physical care, such as helping someone out of bed.
  • Emotional support, including talking to someone distressed.
  • Personal care, such as helping someone dress.
  • Managing the family budget and collecting prescriptions.
  • Helping to give medicine.
  • Helping someone communicate.
  • Looking after brothers and sisters.

 

Being a young carer in the armed forces community.

Caring responsibilities can change significantly when a parent is deployed, or, in other cases, some young people may take on temporary caring responsibilities for their stay-at-home parent or siblings. In most cases this leads to limited or no contact with their serving parent, and changes to established routines.

Some young people can experience sudden changes if their parent is injured in service and is medically discharged, who will take on caring responsibilities whilst adapting to significant life changes in terms of identity and possibly moving from established communities of support.

All of which can impact mental health and wellbeing, abilities to do homework or concentrate on school. Due to these added responsibilities, the young carer may also become isolated from their peers.

 

Want to learn more?
Download our Young Carers Day Briefing.
Download now

 

Day-to-day routines of young carers from armed forces communities

Let’s hear from some young carers who Forces Children Scotland has supported to overcome some of the unique challenges described.

In this video, Heather, Gracie-Jo and Erin share some of their day-to-day routines as young carers.

Empowering young people to make meaningful change

Learn more about how we work directly with young carers from armed forces communities.

We can help young carers to overcome unique challenges, help others to understand the lives they lead and to co-produce campaigns to encourage greater numbers of peers to reach out for support.

So, what next to promote a fair future for young carers from armed forces communities?

 

Educators and professionals

Educators and professionals must do more to enhance empathy and understanding of how  life as a young carer in an armed forces or veteran family can impact education and learning, mental health and wellbeing, and adapt practice to meet unique support needs.

One way they can do so is by exploring our Learning Offer for Educators or Professionals.

 

 

Ministry of Defence (MOD)

The Ministry of Defence must make sure that young carers are signposted to services at points of transition.

This should include new postings, deployments and when families are moving out of the armed forces, particularly when the parent is leaving for medical reasons.

The MOD will not always know when the serving person has children, so this needs to go to all staff but also to the partners and children of the serving person where this is known. 

 

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child enshrines the right for parents to receive appropriate support from governments to care for their children to the best of their abilities.

This right is particularly important for young carers. Appropriate, independent family support needs to be in place to ensure these families thrive. 

 

Local Authorities

Local Authorities should ensure that all young carers from armed forces and veteran families have been assessed for a Young Carers Statement.

Processes should be in place to ensure smooth transfer of the support and review mechanisms when a young carer from an armed forces family moves local authorities within Scotland or moves to another home nation.

Local Authorities must uphold their duties under the Armed Forces Covenant and provide more support for young carers in armed forces and veteran families. 

 

Want to learn more?
Download our Young Carers Day Briefing.
Download now
Would you like to learn more about our work with young carers from armed forces communities?
Contact us