This Young Carers Action Day we are sharing Macey’s story. Like many young people with caring responsibilities, the pressures at home we’re having a serious impact on her school attendance.
What was the situation?
Macey is 10 years old and lives with her dad and three siblings. Her mum suffers from substance abuse and is not able to care for Macey and her siblings, and wasn’t living with them. Her dad does his best to support his family, but is a functioning alcoholic and can’t always care for the children as well as he wants to. This meant that Macey and her siblings were under a lot of pressure at home to care for themselves, and sometimes just couldn’t get to school.
The family were struggling financially and were at risk of eviction, and had been issued a Section 21 notice. The children didn’t have shoes that fit and without a working washing machine, they often didn’t have clean uniforms to wear to school.
Macey’s attendance had fallen to under 70%, meaning she was missing out on a third of her education.
How did School-Home Support help?
Macey was referred to School-Home Support practitioner Amanda, who was able to identify the areas where the family needed immediate support. First, Amanda supported the family to secure extra time in their property following the eviction notice.
She arranged for food parcels to be delivered to the family, and applied to the Welfare Fund for a new washing machine and school shoes, so the children had clean, comfortable clothing to wear to school.
Understanding the pressure that Macey was under at home, Amanda arranged for her to attend a young carers session, where she could spend time with other young people facing similar challenges. Amanda also set up school counselling sessions for all of the children, and referred them to The DEN for additional support with their wellbeing.
Amanda had regular check-ins with Macey at school, creating a safe space for her to express her feelings and worries and so that Amanda could keep an eye on what was happening at home. Amanda’s support, both practical and emotional, gave Macey and her family much needed respite from the challenges at home.
With a clean uniform and new shoes, and with support for her emotional wellbeing, Macey began to find it easier to get to school and her attendance started to increase. In just 3 months of support, Macey’s attendance increased by 10%.