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BME young carers: a neglected voice

Youth-led research by the IARS indicates that BME young carers are one of the most marginalised groups in society. Here we present current findings and tools for young people and professionals to support them with their employability.

Research conducted by Eurodesk UK Partner the IARS International Institute indicates that Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) young carers are one of the most, if not the most, marginalised and neglected group in society. Their voice is unheard by policy makers and actors at a local, national and European level.

 

Young carers are providing intensive care for relatives who may have significant mental or physical disability; this responsibility can compromise their access to opportunities. Yet a study by the Children’s Commissioner found they are being let down by local authorities. In England only 20% of the young carers actually receive some support from their local authorities and 94% of referred young carers are dismissed without assessment. 

 

Among BME communities young people are twice as likely to be a young carer, but the lack of support is even more prevalent. BME families are less likely to access services due to cultural attitudes of shame or stigma associated with disability and mental health. 

 

These findings highlight the importance of the IARS's current Care2Work project. The report is titled “Young Black and Minority Ethnic Carers: Barriers and Opportunities for Employment and Education”. It finds that young carers experience serious educational disadvantage. Care2Work aims to break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage that young carer’s face. It argues for reform is needed of the current service provision.

 

Care2Work is a youth-led initiative which gives a voice to experiences of young carers. It runs with young carers across the EU in the UK, Italy, Greece and Sweden to create training materials and tools.
 
Young people can undertake a fun, interactive e-training course that embraces the positive impact of caring as a life experience. It helps young carers to build upon the positive social skills acquired through their experiences as carers and how these can be utilised in different environments including work or educational settings. The course can be freely accessed here.

 

In addition is a free CPD accredited e-training course designed to empower professionals who work and interact with young BME carers including youth and social workers, teachers, teaching assistants etc. is now free available here.

 

The IARS International Institute in collaboration with our European partners is organising an international conference on the 27th April in London. Presentations and debates of the final findings of this EU-wide 2-year project with young people, professionals and policy-makers will take place. Bursaries up to 200 euros are available for non-UK based young people and practitioners.  More information can be found here.