Children’s Commissioner gives powerful commitment to supporting young carers at parliamentary event
The Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, stated her strong commitment to supporting young carers at a recent online meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Young Carers.
Addressing both young carers and parliamentarians, the Children’s Commissioner said “Young carers are absolutely a priority for me, and always will be”.
Dame Rachel de Souza was speaking at the first event staged by the recently formed APPG for Young Carers and Young Adult Carers, for which Carers Trust provides secretariat support. It was attended by parliamentarians from across the political spectrum as well as young carers from Rochdale, Wigan, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leicestershire, Windsor, Bournemouth, Cambridgeshire, Enfield and Oxford. The young carers at the online event had come from young carer services run by Carers Trust Network Partners or as members of the Young Carers Alliance which is now hosted by Carers Trust.
Dame Rachel de Souza had plenty of ideas for how schools, higher education settings and employers can do more to support young carers and young adult carers, including:
- There should be a senior manager in every school to take responsibility for identifying and supporting young carers.
- Schools need to work with local authorities, health and family hubs to ensure young carers are identified and able to access support.
- Young carers in primary school should be supported with transition to secondary school
- Every school should have a co-written young carers policy and a young carers champion.
- Universities and employers needing to do more for young adult carers. This could be committing to providing guaranteed internships, interviews, or employability support.
- Ensuring the needs of young carers and young adult carers are actively considered in the roll-out of the Children’s Social Care Implementation Strategy. The Commissioner said to the young carers at the event: “I want to fight your corner”
Reflecting on the success of the first official event of the APPG, its Chair, Paul Blomfield MP, said:
“It was incredibly powerful hearing from young carers and young adult carers from across the country. Their experiences and insights, covering topics from education, to mental health, to finances, highlighted exactly why it is that we ensure that young carers and young adult carers are able to have their voices heard. It is only by providing opportunities for young carers to tell us first-hand what issues need addressing, that we can bring about real change for young carers and their families.
I was delighted that Dame Rachel listened so carefully and responded so positively to all these young people. Along with my parliamentary colleagues, I look forward to the APPG continuing to work with the Commissioner, Carers Trust, all the partners in the Young Carers Alliance, and most importantly young carers themselves to help improve the identification and support for all young carers and young adult carers.”