North Wales ID Card Launch on Young Carers Action Day, to support heroic young carers in their communities
Young Carers Action Day on 16 March 2021 is about children and young people from across North Wales (& UK) who care for someone, usually a parent or a sibling, whether ill or disabled. It is on this day the new North Wales Young Carers ID card will be launched to give recognition to our amazing young carers here in North Wales!
Young Carers have asked for an ID card so that teachers, health professionals and retailers know that they carry important responsibilities. In response the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan, outlined her commitment to this initiative in rolling out a national young carers identification card in response to the National Assembly’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee Inquiry into the Social Services and Well-being Act 2014 and its impact on carers, as well addressing the three national priorities for carers in Wales.
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Service, Julie Morgan, said:
“I want to express my thanks to all of Wales’ young carers and young adult carers for the fantastic support they give to family and friends in such testing times.
“Even before the pandemic started we knew young carers and young adult carers faced numerous pressures whilst caring for someone. The past twelve months have shown us that unfortunately many people don’t know how to recognise, help or support a young carer.
“This national ID card will give young carers a quick way to easily inform their teachers, supermarket staff, pharmacies or their GP surgery, that they look after someone. It will also help them access their rights under our Social Services and Well-being Wales Act, including their right to a carers’ needs assessment.
“I am pleased that we are working closely with local authorities and Carers Trust Wales to ensure every areas of Wales offers it young carers an ID card by 2022. The regional approach by the local authorities across North Wales, and their work with Powys, is a very positive step forward to achieving that goal. By working together, we can all deliver better support and recognition for young carers throughout Wales.”
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services and the Council’s Carers’ Champion, Councillor Christine Jones, said:
“Flintshire has been instrumental in achieving our unique regional approach in North Wales and ensuring its success. I am delighted that the ID card will be launched on Young Carers Action Day. These young people provide essential support to their families and loved ones and we greatly value their commitment and selflessness. Flintshire will continue to help and support them and provide opportunities for education and employment that other young people have access to.”
There will be a phased roll-out of the national ID card, with all local authority areas in Wales having launched their card by April 2022. Many areas in Wales are developing their localised roll-out plans now, however North Wales is taking a unique approach and developing the ID card in partnership to create greater awareness and recognition for our young carers. North Wales and Powys’ launch is taking place on Tuesday 16 March 2020 at 5:30 pm.
One in twelve children become a young carer at some point during childhood (BBC (2010). There are young, unsung heroes in every neighbourhood. Every young carer is different, but these are some examples of what they have to juggle in their lives:
• Talking to parent / sibling who is distressed and helping them communicate
• Helping parents / sibling get out of bed and dressed
• Collecting prescriptions and giving out medicines
• Managing the family budget
• Cooking, housework and shopping
The biggest challenge is often the worry they have for the parent or sibling that they look after and often not being understood by others. Incredibly, with recognition and support young carers can be extremely successful, they are used to being responsible and getting things done, but all too many do not achieve their potential and become isolated– that’s why awareness and the ID card are so important.
“I care for my younger brother with severe Autism. Having a young carer ID card would help me a lot, especially in school so that I can get acknowledged as a young carer. I would welcome the support of Deadpool, the Wrexham football club and I would highly appreciate it if they promoted this launch.”
The national young carers ID card is being developed to identify and raise awareness of young carers as well as provide recognition of their important and often invisible caring role. The aim of this national initiative, supported by Carers Trust Wales is to help young carers, 18 and under, get access to the right support at the right time; so for example if a young carer was identified using their ID by a teacher, doctor or pharmacist, they would know how best to support that young carer.
Kate Cubbage, Head of External Affairs for Carers Trust Wales said:
“Young carers across Wales have long called for an ID card to help them get the recognition they deserve and the support they need.
“We are delighted that local authorities across North Wales have worked collaboratively to develop a regional approach to delivering an ID card scheme that is consistent across all local authorities. This is the first regional approach launched under the new national model and we look forward to every area in Wales having an ID card by 2022. The card and supporting resources for professionals will help to empower young carers to speak openly with health, social care and education professionals about their needs. The resources, available to download on Carers.org/YCID, will also give professionals the tools they need to recognise young carers and to support them appropriately.
“We’re pleased to have worked with Welsh Government, local authorities and professional bodies across Wales to make such positive progress for young carers.”
Covid-19 has impacted young carers significantly, who are reporting a growing number of challenges as a result, including: increases in their caring role and responsibilities, isolation and balancing learning/ education. The pandemic has also seen an increase in young carers seeking formal means of identification to enable them to access essential foods and medicines more easily. Over lockdown, you may have seen Young Carer Fayeth on the BBC News because she had been turned away for being a child out shopping. People didn’t realise that she needed to shop for her family – she was supported with an ID card, along with other young carers. It made such a difference and her local supermarket came to welcome and support her visits. When teachers know that their pupils are young carers they can find out what would help that child succeed and link up with local organisations that can help too.
If you know someone who would benefit from a young carers ID card, would like to attend the virtual evening launch on Tuesday 16th March 2020, or just wants to talk to someone about their caring role, please contact:
Action for Children (Anglesey & Gwynedd) – (01248) 364614 /
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Credu (Conwy, Denbighshire & Wrexham) – (01597) 823800 / firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWCIS (Flintshire) – (01352) 752525 / email@example.com
To hear more about Young Carers and Wrexham AFC, purchase tickets for their home match on 16 March 2021 versus Eastleigh here.