How to support young carers
Look out for students that may be young carers.
'Don’t make assumptions. They can be any age under 25 and of either sex. Look out for students who are often tired, missing class or falling behind. Or leave school during the day or are away often.'
But be careful how you approach them.
'Young carers appreciate having a choice about what they share. Talk to them in a comfortable environment when their peers are not around. Use a non-pressured conversation starter.'
Start by empathising with them.
'Tell them you respect their caring role. Acknowledge the challenges they face. Ask them if you can help. Offer to talk to other teachers on their behalf.'
Then provide them with some support.
'Help them with schoolwork. Give them more time. Let them keep their mobile phones in class. Connect them with support programs. Stop them from experiencing bullying.'
And connect them with support services outside the school environment.
'State and territory carers associations support young carers. They can connect young carers to support groups and counselling. They may also run activities for young carers to connect to each other.'
Keep an eye out for bullying.
'Young carers don’t have the same out-of-school life as their peers. They may not have the time or be in the right headspace to engage in social and sporting activities. This may lead to bullying.'
And raise awareness among the school community.
'Young carers feel different. They fear bullying, social exclusion and negative judgements. Build up the support around them by raising awareness among the school community.'