On young carers’ awareness day, we wanted to establish what Samuel Ward Academy does to help these students in our school, and consequently how they can access support.

Young carers are a vulnerable and disadvantaged group specifically mentioned in Ofsted’s School Inspection Handbook (Ofsted, 2014). Research shows that: 27% of young carers (aged 11–15) miss school or experience educational difficulties.
We recently gained the bronze young carer’s award from Suffolk Young Carers for our work. And this is what we did to achieve this:

The Young Carers in Schools award consists of five separate standards to each award.

1. Understand - There are assigned members of staff with responsibility for understanding and addressing young carers needs, at Samuel Ward this is Mrs Ockelford
2. Inform - Awareness is raised by sharing knowledge about disability, illness and young carers throughout the school.
3. Identify - Young carers are being identified within our school.
4. Listen - They are listened to, consulted with and given time and space to talk by Mrs Ockelford and our drop-in lady from young carers, Sheree Driver.
5. Support - Young carers are supported within the school and signposted to whole family resources and services outside the school.

We work with whole families and give emotional and practical support. We link with services to make sure the whole family are accessing the relevant support available. The result is a reduction in the caring responsibilities of the child. We work with Suffolk Young Carers and between school and the charity we can offer:

* Individual support for young carers on a one-to-one basis (and for parents if required)
* Needs assessment of young carers and their family
* Opportunities for young people to meet other young carers
* Opportunities for young people to join in planned groups and activities
* Signposting to other services if necessary, for young carers and/or parents
* Advocacy work
* Monthly Student' drop in
* Family outings
* Outings for young carers
* Help for young carers to access adult services on turning 18
* Awareness raising
* Work with schools
* Multi-agency working

We are currently working towards the Silver Young Carers award.

If you would like any more information or support please contact Mrs Ockelford in the KS3 building or on email : sockelford@samuelward.co.uk