Date: November, 2020
Family carers are sometimes described as an ‘invisible army’ – a large group of citizens who bear a significant proportion of the national social care strategy. Child carers, commonly known as ‘young carers’, are an under-recognised and particularly vulnerable group within this ‘army’. Current policy and practice on recognising and supporting young carers is variable across Welsh Local Authorities, and the level or nature of intervention activity bears further examination nationally. This group has significant, diverse needs and disparate experiences of personal disruption depending on their circumstances and level of care required for their family members. Education and health could offer substantial support to these children and young people but research shows that they currently struggle to effectively identify and support them, in part due to a lack of clear guidance and strategic planning, and most young carers report difficulties in being recognised for the valuable work that they do. This workshop focuses on sharing knowledge from recent Cardiff University research and policy insight and strategy from national charity Carer’s Trust Wales. We facilitate practitioner-led discussion on common and differing experiences in trying to best support young carers, and co-develop approaches and recommendations to improve Welsh provision. No child or young person should be disadvantaged in their lives by being a young carer. This workshop offers the opportunity to add your experience and expertise to the national conversation around how we can best see, listen to, and support them better.