Young carers are still very much invisible due to the fact that many families do not recognise their children as ‘carers’, some young people do not identify themselves with the caring role, and there can be a degree of reluctance, even anxiety, among families in disclosing caring responsibilities. Many young people assume caring responsibilities that might be overwhelming and they feel trapped in their role as there is a lack of communication within the family. It is therefore important that their situation receives attention at EU level.
Carers Trust Scotland is part of an Erasmus+ funded TOGETHER project, with partners in Belgium, Germany, Greece and Italy. The project, in its 24-month duration, aims to raise awareness on young carers and to support them and their families. The main goal is to develop, test and disseminate three intellectual outputs:
- Awareness raising material to inform children and adults about how important it is to cooperate and be supportive with each other when there is a caring responsibility in the family;
- A training workshop curriculum for young carers and their families, to support the creation of an open dialogue about the illness / condition of the care recipient, the impact on the young person and how the whole family can respond to this;
- An e-learning programme for professionals about how to promote a whole family approach for the benefit of young carers and how to replicate the workshop.
The ultimate goal is to have a positive impact on families where a young member and caring responsibilities co-exist, in order to prevent/reduce the negative impacts on the young carer, as well as improve their well-being, social inclusion and community engagement.
This will be done by helping young carers, their families and professionals to adopt a whole family approach, where:
- Members of the household (including the care recipient) are encouraged to communicate openly about the illness and caring;
- The condition of the care recipients is explained clearly to the younger members of the family; and
- Families are helped in building positive relationships.
The next steps will consist in the analysis of awareness raising material (books, videos, films, leaflets, articles) in each of the partners’ country and the creation of innovative tools and materials to support young carers and their families.
To find out more about the project and to get involved in our future activities, TOGETHER project website will be available in due course - www.togethereuproject.eu.