The voices of young people are at the heart of our work, through residentials and creative consultations the views of young people help influence change. They feed into the development of our tools and we take young peoples words forward to professionals through basic awareness seminars and specialist training events. We ensure that accessing BME families is within the remit of all of our projects, by building and maintaining a strong network of partners through groups and events such as the National Young Carers Forum and The Young Carers Festival
The YCF have been running for 12 years, born out of an idea for a conference to get young carers voice heard nationally, it turned into a festival which aimed to host 100 young people. 600 young people wanted to attend the first event! Over the years workshops have increased, the former Sec of state for children and families has attended twice and Tim Loughton sec. children schools and families is a big supporter. The NYCF and the YCF is a vital platform for raising awareness, for YC to have a say and informs the direction for our work. Now the YCF involves 1,500 young carers annually. This quote was reiterated by many Young Carers and has directly informed our work. Bringing together young carers from projects across the country reflects the diversity of young carers needs and cultures. This includes young carers from urban and rural areas and those from black and ethnic minority families. This may include those caring for parents or siblings with substance misuse, mental ill health, physical and sensory disability, or long term illness such as HIV.
Here are some of the key messages that have come from our work (READ SLIDE) this came from a young carer who was sharing there experience of the support that their mother received – This highlights the necessity for an approach which considers the whole family including their cultural needs. When working with families we need to consider appropriate support and discuss what the whole family requires both physically and emotionally. We need to be transparent with services that are on offer and be open and realistic.
Along with sharing these key messages a DVD was created at the first residential in order to get young carers voices heard. The purpose of the DVD was to collect the thoughts and feelings of the members of the forum on film so that professionals could hear first hand what life as a young carer is like Show clip
Over the last 4 years the National Young Carers ‘Voice’ has reached far and wide! The DVD created back in 2007 has sold over 500 copies and has been seen by 1000’s of professionals across the country. They have had an input into the Carers Strategy and been heard by Ministers and professionals.
Young carers said: “Schools should support us better and understand our needs ” What's happened?: In March 2007 The Department for Education and Skills Advice and Guidance to Schools and Local Authorities wrote New Guidance for Schools. Young carers said: “ Social Services should think about the whole family when thinking about the support young carers need. What's happened? The Carers Equal Opportunities Act has guidance which gives advice to professionals about young carers. Young carers said: “Social workers and teachers need more training so they can understand and support us better” Whats happened? The Department for Schools, Children and Families has provided funding to The Children Society to provide national training to professionals together with the Princess Royal Trust for Carers. Young Carers also took part in a Priority Search (consultation –ideas tree) which was used to inform the carers strategy 2008 and their priorities were taken forward into the refreshed carers strategy 2010 Recognised, Valued and Supported next steps for the Carers Strategy. The emerging guidance around health and social care outlines the importance of consultation with families and young people and to support personalisation and choice.
These are some other key messages from young carers. They have expressed the importance of having their say but also doing something with it! “ Having our say” in order to make changes!! Remember that individual families have individual needs regardless of where they come from.
The Children's Society's Engage Toolkit launch seminarsages from young carers
Messages from Young Carers The Children’s Society Include Project, www.youngcarer.com
The Voices of Young People in our work Working in partnership with children - looking at the world through their eyes - has always been at the heart of what The Children's Society stands for. Children and young people's participation is embedded in our Vision, Mission and Values.
<ul><ul><li>During consultations at participation </li></ul></ul>Consulting with Young People <ul><ul><li>‘ Social workers and teachers need more training so they can understand and support us all’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>events such as the National Young Carers Festival (involving 1,500 young carers annually) they said that: </li></ul></ul>
" Mum's carer will only cook dinner for mum and also she doesn't know how to cook the things we like to eat, things that we would have eaten in Zimbabwe. I have to cook for me and my brothers and sisters anyway, so I may as well cook for mum too and the carers do something else. But we don't want to say in case she (the carer) is taken away from us and mum wouldn't have anyone to talk to any more." Key Messages
Over the last 4 years the National Young Carers ‘Voice’ has reached far and wide! The DVD created back in 2007 has sold over 400 copies and has been seen by professionals across the country. They have had an input into the Carers Strategy and been heard by Ministers and professionals.
<ul><li>New Guidance for Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Guidance in the Carers Equal </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities Act </li></ul><ul><li>Funding to The Children Society </li></ul><ul><li>for delivery of National Training </li></ul><ul><li>Input into Recognised, Valued and Supported next steps for the Carers Strategy. </li></ul>Examples of the Impact Young Peoples voices can have
Key Messages “ We need our voice heard, not next week or tomorrow BUT NOW!” “ We wouldn’t want to give up caring because we love them too much. If we gave up caring it would change our whole life, but we would like help and people to take notice of us.” “ It’s not just the caring that affects you… What really gets you is the worry of it all.”