Support For Young Carers In Wandsworth

To help with confidence, self-esteem, school attendance and performance issues

A new project has launched to identify more than 40 young carers at schools in Wandsworth over the next two years, and help them connect with appropriate support services.

Young carers are young people who are responsible for looking after a parent, guardian or relative who has poor mental or physical health, alcohol or drug dependency.

Research shows that young carers’ extra responsibilities can lead them to falling behind socially and academically, which can affect their pursuit of higher education and their future earning potential.

It is being run in partnership in the borough by the charity Family Action and funded with a £440,000 grant from L&Q Foundation, a charitable housing association.

Called L&Q Young Carers, the programme is part of a wider project across eight boroughs in London, which will work jointly with 60 schools (6-8 per borough) to identify hundreds of young carers across London.

Support For Young Carers In Wandsworth
The L&Q Young Carers Team

The schools will be chosen based on their close proximity to a high concentration of homes managed by L&Q, of which there are more than 2,500 in Wandsworth.

Each newly identified young carer will be provided with a plan of support through building relationships with the Young Carers Trust and staff training at the school to promote future good practice.

It aims to improve young carers' confidence, self-esteem, school attendance and performance and link them with longer term support services appropriate to their needs.

The new L&Q Young Carers project will be run in partnership with local support services in Barking and Dagenham (Carers of Barking and Dagenham); Croydon (Off the Record); Hackney (Action for Children); Lewisham (Carers Lewisham); Lambeth (South Thames Cross Roads Care); Newham and Wandsworth (Family Action); Waltham Forest (Waltham Forest Youth Service).

A young carer aged 15 who has been connected with regular sessions for young carers thanks to L&Q, said, “I feel that there are a lot of people that I can talk to in and out of school. Before I found out about young carers, I thought I was the only one going through a difficult time.”

Matthew Corbett, L&Q’s Assistant Director Community Investment, said, “Research indicates that as many as one in five young people aged 5-19 in affordable housing maybe caring for someone at home. They are often hidden and unsure where to access support. By identifying and supporting these young people in L&Q homes and neighbourhoods we are creating stronger communities and places where people want to live.”

May 31, 2016