Focus on Young Carers: Carers Week 2011

13 Jun

Association of Carers' Young Carers logo

This week (13-19 June) is Carers Week. The Children’s Society defines young carers as “children and young people who care for parents or siblings who suffer from chronic illness or disability.” How can library services reach and assist teen carers? Several months ago a few colleagues and I spoke to an active group of young carers in our local area. Below are a few ideas I gleaned from that chat.

The first and best thing to do is to find out more about young carers and get in contact with local carers groups. Limitations on teen carers time may restrict them from getting involved with regularly scheduled library activities, so it can be valuable to find out what type of library offering might suit their needs. For example, a traditional in-person book group might not meet a young carer’s needs, but a group that takes place online and only periodically meets in person might be more effective. portable library services may also be useful to young carers.

Libraries can be useful resources for teen carers, but like other teens, most young carers are unaware of the full extent of library resources. Outreach can be mutually beneficial, making carers aware of the library’s resources while simultaneously providing feedback on ways in which the library can enrich its collection with books for carers and make those materials accessible.

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One Response to “Focus on Young Carers: Carers Week 2011”

  1. bettyechelon November 6, 2011 at 17:07 #

    Hey, I’m a young carer from Winchester, and just thought that something I wrote a couple of weeks ago might be of interest to you, Thanks. Ben. 🙂

    http://bettyechelon.com/2011/10/28/some-things-never-change/
    (The post I wrote about what it means to me to be a carer. :))

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