Why the focus on in-school education?
Statistically, there are 2-3 young carers in every classroom. Most schools are only able to identify 2-3 young carers school-wide, but we guarantee that there are more that remain hidden. The reasons for this is that there is an unfortunate stigma attached to being called a young carer, or being classified as a young person in a family affected by disability, illness, or addiction. Additionally, many of these young people don’t actually know that they are part of a community that requires extra support, after all it would seem pretty normal for them to care for a family member.
But caring, and being part of a caring family, takes its toll on young people. 2/3 will develop a mental health problem, and only 4% of young primary carers are still engaged in education. High numbers of these children report that caring negatively impacts their attendance, concentration, and performance within the classroom.
How do we address this problem?
Our school accreditation program works closely with staff and students to deliver the information, awareness, and training that your team needs to identify these young people in your school, and provide the support that they need to thrive.
The program consists of online learning modules, face-to-face training, young carer and Little Dreamers speakers, resources (including posters, flyers, and fact sheets), ongoing support, and promotional material (photos/videos), amongst others, in order to create a positive and informed environment for young carers in schools. This program will reduce stigma, increase interactions between staff and students as well as peer-to-peer, and link your students in with our organisation for access to our other programs and services.
This program is the first of its kind in Australia and similar programs have been tested successfully internationally and we know that it’s time to make the change here. There are currently no widespread, successful programs focussing on Young Carers in education targeted on a whole-schools approach. The Little Dreamers Carers Accreditation Program is filling this gap!