18 November 2020
Did you know that young adult carers are three times more likely to be out of education, employment or training than other young people, and five times more likely to drop out of college? Don’t let that happen to you! At Coleg Gwent we’ve got you covered with a network of support in place to help you achieve your dreams and aspirations under our QSCS accreditation.
There are around 30,000 young carers under the age of 25 in Wales (Social Care Wales) and the fact that they spend so much time caring takes its toll on their education, physical health and emotional wellbeing. We understand that it can be difficult for learners who have caring roles to manage their college studies alongside their caring responsibilities, but this shouldn’t hold them back from being able to complete their qualifications. So, in October 2020, we gained the Quality Standard in Carer Support (QSCS) accredited status for the next three years, recognising that we go the extra mile to support our young carers at Coleg Gwent.
The Carers Federation QSCS was developed by carers to provide accreditation and training for organisations like us who want to support young carers as much as possible. It helps to raise awareness, remove some of the barriers for carers, develop appropriate policies and procedures, and improve access to support, by demonstrating good practice in supporting carers in the wider community.
The Learning and Work Institute is now working in partnership with The Carers Federation to improve the support that young carers receive in further education colleges. So, by understanding our young carers’ needs, putting a network of support in place and developing effective working partnerships with local services, the QSCS accreditation will give our young adult carers good opportunities to benefit from learning and reduce their caring burden, so they can fulfil their potential and enjoy their studies at Coleg Gwent.
We believe that young carers have the right to learn, enjoy and achieve their potential, and obtaining the QSCS accreditation has made us aware of possible barriers they face, enabling us to develop appropriate policies and procedures to support them. It empowers our staff to be better informed, with access to resources, additional information and training to identify learners with caring roles early in the academic year, and to create a web of pro-active and accessible support around them.
Thanks to this, we’ve already identified a higher percentage of young carers early at enrolment this year compared to last year, who will be supported to achieve their potential. They’ll be surrounded by a network of support to improve their wellbeing and maximise their learning opportunities, helping them successfully complete their studies with us.
So, if you’re a young carer at Coleg Gwent, speak to your Head of Learner Services for further support, or if you’re thinking of studying with us and need advice on how you can achieve this alongside your caring commitments, email Hello@coleggwent.ac.uk now.