Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Social Services
This year, Young Carers’ Action day focuses on loneliness – something experienced by many young carers. Loneliness isn’t just a lack of friends or family, it can be a powerful feeling which affects mental health and wellbeing. Since the pandemic started, the additional worry and sense of isolation has had a negative impact on the wellbeing of many young carers.
I have championed all unpaid carers in Wales throughout my time in government and worked hard to put schemes and initiatives in place to support them. Most recently, I have worked with the Carers’ Ministerial Advisory group and a wide range of organisations, including local authorities, carers’ charities and young carers, to develop the Strategy for Unpaid Carers, which was published a year ago.
A delivery plan to support the strategy was launched in November. It sets out a new national priority for unpaid carers in education and employment. A large number of the actions in the four national priorities will help increase the profile of young carers and the issues affecting them.
We are now entering the third year of the national Young Carer ID card scheme, which is provided in partnership with local authorities and Carers Trust Wales. The ID card is available to all young carers up to the age of 18 and it provides young carers with a quick and simple way to inform teachers, local health services, public transport and other services that they look after someone. It will also help them access their rights under our Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. This includes a right to a carers’ needs assessment.
Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Powys will launch the Young Carer ID card this month, meaning the card is now available and recognised in every part of Wales. By working in partnership to raise awareness of carers’ rights and services we can better support and recognise young carers and make sure they get help and support they need.