1. ITV Report

Welsh schools failing young carers warns charity

Credit: PA images

Schools in Wales are failing a generation of children who are sacrificing their futures to care for sick or disabled family members, according to a children's charity.

New research by Barnardos shows how teachers are failing to identify and support young carers.

As part of the research published today, a YouGov poll found that 40% of teachers were not confident they would be able to identify a young carer in their class.

  • More than a third of teachers surveyed thought there were young carers at their school who were not sufficiently supported
  • 29% of teachers said they didn’t think their school had any particular ways of supporting young carers

Research shows that some children and young people carry out more than 30 hours a week of caring responsibilities – almost the equivalent of a full-time job – and filling in the gaps left in adult social care.

It also showed that caring can take a huge toll on children’s mental health, as well as their achievement at school.

A large number of young carers have reported suffering from anxiety, depression, isolation and feelings of anger.

Credit: PA images

It is simply not acceptable that children are having to sacrifice their futures to care for the ones they love. Austerity has meant local authorities have had to cut back on adult social care and the result is children are picking up the pieces.

It’s clear from our research that there is a lack of awareness among teachers that needs urgently addressing. Schools need to take more responsibility to make sure young carers are properly supported.

– Javed Khan, Barnardo’s Chief Executive

Barnardo’s Cymru is now calling for more support for young carers and says schools must demonstrate awareness in lessons and provide teacher training.