Introducing the Young Carers Service
The Young Carers Service is a team made up of professionals with backgrounds in Social Work, Youth Work and Teaching, who enable young carers to have a break from their caring role, benefit from 1:1 support and take part in youth participation to share their stories about being a young carer.
Family Support Work
Caring shouldn’t be a barrier for young people to achieve their full potential.When offered the right support at an early age, young carers often flourish, going on to inspire and motivate other young carers. Early identification is often key. Our Family Support Service enables young carers to explore their physical and mental health in a non-judgemental environment. It is our goal to support young people to access the same opportunities as their peers who do not have caring responsibilities. The Family Support Worker will develop an individualised plan with the young carer and family, to explore difficulties, challenges and also achievements relating to their life as a young carer.
Family Support includes:
Getting to know the young person and understanding how they feel about being a carer.
Putting the young carer and family in touch with other people and organisations that can help or give advice.
Helping the young carer to understand more about the illness or disability that is affecting their family.
Making sure that caring doesn’t prevent the young person from doing things they want to do, such as going out with friends, going to school/college or getting a job.
Helping other people in their life understand how caring affects the young person, including teachers at school.
Social Action is about people coming together to improve their quality of life and solve important issues within their communities. Our programme, with youth participation at its heart, supports young carers to identify things that they would like to change and helps them to implement those changes.
Young people have enormous potential and we’re dedicated to helping young carers reach their goals. There are various ways young carers can take part in Social Action at North Tyneside Carers’ Centre. These include:
Social action groups:
We work with groups of young carers across both primary and secondary aged in schools and in the community. Social Action is about young people coming together to have their voices heard, to be listened to and have a say on issues that matter to them. Recently a group of young carers decided to write a book to share their stories, as young carers living through Covid-19.
We have a Young Carers’ Forum, which is held fortnightly. This is an opportunity for young carers to have a say about how things are run at North Tyneside Carers’ Centre. Young people who have taken part in previous Social Action projects are often invited to join Youth Forum as a progression. All voices matter at youth forum, and no idea is a bad idea.
Forum members have explained in their own words what it means to be part of the Young Carers’ Forum:
“Youth forum is about making other young carers feel as though their voice is heard in the community and by North Tyneside Carers’ Centre.
We make sure that young carers are all heard and when young carers attend the Youth Forum they will feel listened to. Without judgement, we are able to discuss issues that concern us, so that we can work together to make North Tyneside a better place for young carers. This makes young carers feel valued which is what we, as a youth forum, pride ourselves on.”
Breaks and Activities
Our Breaks and Activities Service offers young carers the opportunity to relax, have fun and meet other young carers.
Young carers are able to learn new skills, make new friends, increase their confidence and feel supported by staff and other young carers. Our activities have included arts and craft sessions, games, treasure hunts, issue based discussions and trips to Powburn Activity Centre.
We are running a variety of activities over the next few months, which include:
Activities for Primary aged young carers.
Activities for Secondary aged young carers.
One off events, including Halloween & Christmas parties.
North Tyneside Carers’ Centre have worked hard in response to young carers needs and secured funding for a therapeutic practitioner to work with children and young people who are experiencing difficulties. This may include but is not limited to; emotional, social or behaviour difficulties including mental health concerns. It is available to young carers aged from 5-25 years.
Drama therapy is a form of psychotherapy which specifically employs drama, theatre and other alternative creative mediums to enable the young person to work through their presenting difficulties. Drama therapy can be accessible for anyone who seeks to explore the difficulties in an alternative way. Drama therapy is usually accessed following 1:1 support with a Family Support Worker. It may then be agreed with the young person and family that drama therapy would be the next step.
Drama therapy can enable a young person to access an array of creative mediums to help them, explore, express and transform.
Mediums include: talking & listening, role play, art, mask work, puppetry, small object work and much more. Referrals to drama therapy are made through the young persons Family Support Worker.
Top tips for identifying and supporting young carers
- Know who is a young carer in your school or organisation.
- Make sure the young carers know who knows they are a young carer, to help provide a point of contact if needed.
- Complete the young carers training on North Tyneside Council’s Learning pool.
- Ensure they feel listened to.
- Provide a safe space for young carers to offload.
- Understand the issues they face, and that what looks like a ‘lazy or unmotivated’ young person, may be as result of overwhelm due to their caring responsibilities.
Do you work with a young carer?
If you think a young person you work with is a young carer, they could be entitled to support and advice from our service. To refer a young carer, a local authority professional, usually a teacher or social worker will have to complete a Young Carers Needs Assessment. There is advice and training on how to do this accessed through North Tyneside Council’s Learning Pool. For more information and advice about how you can ensure young carers get the support they need, please contact the Young Carers’ Project Manager, Peter Thorp, on: 0191 6432298 or by emailing: email@example.com