School nurses play an important role in identifying those children and young people – both in and out of education – who may be young carers, so they are in the ideal position to offer the right emotional and practical support. To help them do this, the Carers Trust and the Department of Health have developed a new pathway for school nurses to receive training to become a Young Carer School Nurse Champion.
Those who complete the course receive a School Nurse Champion Badge. Designed by Lucy Davies of the St Helens Young Carers Centre, it was chosen in a competition organised by the Department of Health and the School and Public Health Nurses Association (SAPHNA).
This training programme is being supported by the Carers Trust as part of the Time To Be Heard campaign,which aims to change policy and practice that affects these young people, particularly regarding employment, school and further education.
Two young adult carers, Hannah and Ricky, from the Norfolk Young Carers Forum, recently carried out a presentation to school nurses, and interviewed them about their ideas about working with a young carers' service. Watch a video of Hannah and Ricky talking about their training here:
The Children's Society estimates more than 166,000 children in England are caring for parents, siblings and family members, and the number of five to seven year olds in this role has increased by around 80% over the last decade to 9,371. And every week, nearly 15,000 children up to the age of 17 are providing a staggering 50 hours of care a week. And these are only estimated figures – the true number is likely to be much higher.
To read more about the work of the Carers Trust, visit www.carers.org