Identify young adult carers in your institution
By identifying the numbers of young adult carers in your institution you will be able to commission services to meet their needs. Carers Trust recommends adding a field to university forms that specifically asks students if they have caring responsibilities so you can identify at an early stage. By taking this step you will be able to proactively engage and support young adult carers from the moment they start at the institution.
Raise awareness of carers and caring among students
Some young adult carers may not realise that they are in a caring role as caring is ‘something that they have always done’. It is important to raise awareness of caring amongst students and offer support if they come forward to disclose their caring status.
Carers Trust recommends that you publicise who young adult carers are and the services available to support them as much as possible in the university. Even a poster could make a difference to a young adult carers life.
Raise awareness of carers among staff
Ensure that all staff members are aware of what a young adult carer is, the challenges they may face and available solutions. Although more than three quarters of the young adult carers surveyed had explained their caring role to their college or university, nearly half (45%) of them said that despite this there was still no one there that helped them.
Some of the signs that someone may be a young adult carer include:
- being late for classes
- handing in homework/ coursework late or incomplete
- difficulty concentrating
- high levels of absence
- drops in grades
- Low confidence.
If you suspect that a student may be a carer, take some time to talk to them and offer support to work through their issues and achieve the best grades possible whilst at university.
Engage with the local carers services
Most areas will have a local carers service nearby where students can access support. You can find them by looking at the carers services map or via your local authorities’ web page or advice line.
Carers services will be able to advise you on the appropriate steps to take if a student discloses that they are a carer. Carers Services may be interested in working with you.