The Participation Lab was pleased to host the Implementing Change for Hidden Young Carers conference at the University of Reading on 22 February 2017. The conference was chaired by young adult carers and organised by the Children’s Society Include Project.
The Hidden Photography Exhibition displayed powerful photographs of hidden young carers and their perspectives.
The conference, attended by 80 practitioners, directors of services and commissioners, provided updates on the current national picture for young carers and shared models of effective identification and whole family support for young carers and their families. Delegates heard from Mark Brown, Department of Health, about the new National Carers’ Strategy due to be launched soon in 2017 and from Helen Leadbitter about recent changes brought about by the Carers’ Act and Children and Families’ Act.
The afternoon focused on families affected by stigmatised illness and those often hidden from support, including young carers affected by parental substance misuse and mental illness. Ruth Evans and Helen Leadbitter presented the particular challenges faced by young carers in refugee and asylum-seeking families.
Young adult carers led important discussions about how caring affects young carers’ wellbeing, in positive as well as negative ways, and the importance of young carers’ participation so that they feel valued, heard and represented.
The emotional bucket and how the stresses young carers face can be alleviated by finding ways to open the tap and relax.
See the Agenda for more information.