Getting in touch
A Carers Centre support worker made a referral to My Rights, My Say for a young carer called Rehan. Rehan had given his permission for his contact details to be passed onto My Rights, My Say advocacy staff.
A My Rights, My Say advocacy worker got in touch with Rehan to arrange an initial visit. Rehan and his advocacy worker met a few times to build up a relationship and trust.
Rehan’s school were unaware that he cares for his older brother at home. Rehan wanted to tell them but he wasn’t sure how. His advocacy worker listened and then explained his rights to receive extra support at school and how advocacy could help him talk to the school about his additional support needs.
Identifying issues and what helps
Rehan told his advocacy worker that he wanted to let the school know what life was like for him as a young carer and that trying to keep on top of his school work was making him very anxious. He explained that he was finding school work challenging and he wasn’t able to complete his homework .
Rehan was finding some of his english and maths classes particularly difficult. He often felt tired from having little sleep, due to his caring responsibilities. One idea Rehan had was to have more notes with explanations as he found it hard to remember what the teacher had said in class, especially if he’d had a demanding night looking after his brother. He wanted to ask if there were any lunch or after-school clubs for english and maths he could attend to help him catch up.
Sharing Rehan’s view
Rehan wanted to speak to his school about his needs with his advocacy worker. The advocacy worker, at Rehan’s request, arranged a meeting with his pastoral care teacher.
Rehan’s teacher was pleased he had decided to tell the school what he needed and praised his courage in letting the school know he was a young carer.
Rehan and the teacher discussed strategies and aids for extra support and agreed which ones would work best for Rehan. The school offered to inform all of the teachers of Rehan’s caring responsibilities. They told him if he ever needed to leave class for some downtime, he could do so without any trouble.
The pastoral care teacher told Rehan he could come and speak to him at any time if things were getting too much for him. He also suggested he would speak to Rehan’s english and maths teacher about getting extra help.
Rehan was extremely happy with the outcome of his advocacy. A member staff approached him about being a young carer and told him that he was not the only one in the school. Rehan thought he was, so was really pleased to hear this. Knowing other people his age are going through a similar situation brought him some comfort.
Rehan said, “Advocacy really helped me when I was struggling with a lot of things at home and school and trying to multi-task. It helped ease my stress having someone to talk to when I was worried about school. The school met my needs and were great, which was all thanks to advocacy. I wouldn’t have done it by myself. My advocacy worker let school know about my needs, the year head met me and told me if there was anything I needed I could talk to him. This relieved stress for me, knowing I have other people that can help me when I am stressed. It has opened doors that I wouldn’t have had before, it has really helped me.”