Young people aged between 11 and 21 charged with caring for members of their family attended Monmouthshire’s Children and Young People’s Select Committee recently in County Hall, Usk.  They gave an account of how they developed a young carers’ strategy with council officers and the difference it would make to their lives.

The select committee debated the council’s first Monmouthshire Young Carers’ Strategy 2017-2020 and heard from those attending that a greater understanding and recognition of their roles by professionals would go a long way to assist them.  Councillors also acknowledged the importance of the young people being involved in discussions with the council’s service providers regarding care of family members and the help and support available to them.

The young people were keen to highlight the need for a greater appreciation of their role as a young carer in schools and higher education.  They said that effective support may simply involve tutors understanding why homework could not be completed within usual timescales and granting an extension when young carers are under pressure.  They explained to councillors that an acknowledgement of circumstances by staff and receiving positive encouragement often gave them the impetus to carry on studying and achieve their potential.

Councillors praised the tenacity, positivity and resilience of the young people who achieve in challenging circumstances even when decisions they have to make on their education and employment are difficult and likely to involve compromise.

Monmouthshire’s Chief Executive Paul Matthews said: “We have listened to the inspirational stories of our young carers and are grateful for their participation to make our newly-published strategy an effective document.  We hope that this will provide them with the necessary support they require to lead full and rewarding lives.”

For further information on the council’s Monmouthshire Young Carers’ Strategy 2017-2020 contact Carers Services Development Manager, Kim Sparrey – kimsparrey@monmouthshire.gov.uk