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Number of young carers supported in Dundee increases seven-fold in three years

A new resource pack aimed at helping primary schools across Dundee to identify and support young carers as early as possible was launched at Our Lady's Primary School.
A new resource pack aimed at helping primary schools across Dundee to identify and support young carers as early as possible was launched at Our Lady's Primary School.

The number of young carers receiving support in Dundee has increased more than seven-fold in three years.

Since September 2018 the number of young people in the city identified as carers in has risen by 643%.

This is in part due to new legislation enacted in April 2018 which defined a carer as “anyone who provides, or intends to provide, care for another person”.

The figures reported to Dundee City Council’s children and families services committee were revealed as a new resource pack aimed at helping primary schools across Dundee identify and support young carers as early as possible is launched.

How many young carers in Dundee?

In September 2018 there were 65 young carers identified in schools across the city. This rose to 208 in August 2019 and to 298 in August 2020.

As of September this year, there were 483 young carers identified and receiving support.

The committee report also outlined the council’s efforts to support them, as well as a newly strategy to meet their needs in all primary and secondary schools.

What resources have been put in place?

Among the measures aimed at helping young carers in schools is the appointment of 31 young carer ambassadors who act as volunteers to inform and contribute towards approaches in every secondary school.

The new resource pack developed by the Dundee Carers Centre and launched at Our Lady’s Primary School this week will be piloted by three schools in the new year, before being rolled out across the city in the spring.

Pupils Tianna Cruickshank and Jack Acrum at the launch of the resource pack at Our Lady’s Primary School, head teacher Lorna Dashwood, head of education Audrey May and Sandra Kelbie, Dundee Carers Centre link worker.

Sarah Boath, manager of Dundee Carers Centre carers support team, said: “This resource adds to a whole range of resources co-produced with young carers and their families which have been developed so that schools, youth work teams and social work teams are well equipped to support young carers across the city.”

Councillor Roisin Smith said: “I am pleased to see that this new strategy takes forward support for young carers for the next few years.

“We have come a long way to provide more assistance to these young people and we cannot be complacent.

“Partners met the various challenges that were thrown up by the pandemic and especially lockdown, and I believe that we have to learn from these experiences for the future.”

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