ID cards for young carers to help easily identify themselves as having a caring role are launching across 11 local authorities today to coincide with Young Carers’ Action Day.
The ID card will give young carers a quick way to inform teachers, pharmacists and GPs, staff in supermarkets, and community services such as leisure centres and local transport, that they look after someone.
It will also help them access their rights under the Social Services and Well-being Wales Act 2014, including their right to a carers’ needs assessment.
As well as a physical card other formats of ID are being tested, for example an app in Anglesey and Gwynedd or a wristband. With engagement with young carers, a national logo has also been created.
As part of the north Wales activity, local young carers have been involved with designing the ID card, including Joshua Hughes, 15, from Colwyn Bay. He said:
“I help look after my brother. I have enjoyed being part of the group designing the young carers ID card.”
Hannah Mushrow, 11, from Flintshire, cares for her older brother. She said:
"I help care for my 17 year old brother, he has Smith-Magenis Syndrome. Although he is 17 years old he is really like a 3 year old in lots of things he does, but looks 17. I call him my big, little brother."
In November, Ceredigion was the first local authority to launch a card under the Welsh Government’s national ID card project, with Torfaen local authority and young carers’ service launching their card yesterday.
Welsh Government will make £150,000 of funding available for local authorities in 2021 to 2022 to further support the roll-out of the national ID card scheme, with the aim of ensuring every local authority area of Wales has a scheme in place by 2022.
Carers Trust Wales have been awarded £36,000 to produce information resources and provide training to health and education professionals to help them better understand the issues which affect young carers.
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services Julie Morgan said:
“Too often the ability of a young carer to achieve and progress in their studies or have a life alongside caring is hindered because schools, health professionals and others don’t know who or what a young carer is, or how to help them. I want young carers to be able to identify themselves to others in a quick and easy way, so they can get the right help and support they need.
“It has been a particularly difficult past year, however it is so important to recognise that being a young carers is not a negative - through their role a young person can acquire a wide range of life skills; from resilience in the face of everyday pressures, to time management and the ability to focus on what’s most important.
“Today, on Young Carers’ Action Day, I also want to take the opportunity to thank all our young carers and young adult carers who are helping and supporting their family members, friends and neighbours, in these extremely challenging times. You have and continue to do so much – diolch.”
This year’s Young Carers’ Action Day is focussing on the theme of ‘protecting young carers’ futures’ and in north Wales, Wrexham AFC is sponsoring the day and joint launch for six local authorities.
Disability Liaison Officer at Wrexham AFC, Kerry Evans, said:
“We at Wrexham AFC are very proud to be celebrating and highlighting Young Carers Action Day 2021 by dedicating our match day today.
“Our club is very dedicated to raising awareness of the outstanding work young carers do within our local community. The more awareness raised of these unsung heroes the better.”