03 December 2020

Committee learns of assistance given to young carers

Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee learnt about the support given to young carers and how the service is raising awareness of their vital role.

The committee considered the latest Young Carers Strategy 2021-2023, which builds upon previous reports in this area, when it met on Thursday, December 3.

An achievement mentioned in the strategy includes the recruitment of a Family Wellbeing Worker for carers in marginalised caring roles such as carers of those who have mental illness, substance or alcohol misuse or are part of a minority ethnic group. This worker has formed links with various groups to make sure they are aware of the support available to carers locally.

Other highlights are the development of an app which uses technology in innovative ways to identify and support hidden young carers; a private Facebook group and regular meetings for young carers on Microsoft Teams for advice, information and peer support; targeted intervention in areas where there are low numbers of young carers identified and an update of the Young Carers Toolkit – ‘Help! I’m a Young Carer but who cares for me?’

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “Imagine yourself as a young person caring for a family member or friend who has an illness, or needs support with mental health or an addiction. This is what young carers do day in, day out. There may be young carers who are currently unidentified to the council. Please contact the service if you know of any young person who you think might be acting as a young carer so we can provide them with the support they need.”

Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “The restrictions to combat Covid-19 has seen schools closed and regular support for young carers scaled back. Therefore, the care and provision from Education and Children’s Services and partner organisations such as Quarriers has been invaluable.”

A young carer is anyone under the age of 18, or 18 if still at school, who cares for a family member or friend due to illness, disability, mental health or addiction. Caring can be physical, emotional or practical support.

Quarriers is commissioned to provide a carer support service for both adult and young carers in Aberdeenshire.  More information about Quarriers is available on their website: https://quarriers.org.uk/services/young-carers-support-service-aberdeenshire/

For further information about the support available for young carers in Aberdeenshire please visit the council website: https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/community-care/caring-for-others/support-for-young-carers/

Please email carersupport@aberdeenshire.gov.uk if you require copies of the new young carer materials or for any other carer support queries.

The report is available in full by visiting: https://committees.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/committees.aspx?commid=494&meetid=19548

You can also watch a webcast of Education and Children’s Services Committee by visiting https://aberdeenshire.public-i.tv/core/portal/home