A new national ID card for young carers has been launched in Carmarthenshire in recognition of their caring responsibilities for a family member at home.
The ID card will give young carers a quick way to inform teachers, pharmacists and GPs, staff in supermarkets, and community services such as leisure centres and local transport, that they look after someone.
Young Carers can simply show the card to their teacher or another adult to let them know about the added responsibilities they have at home.
The photo identification card is available to anyone under 18 who is caring for a parent, brother, sister, grandparent or a family friend.
Demi-Jo Phillips from Llanelli is 16 years old and is her mum’s primary carer.
She said: “I care for my mum which can be stressful at times and it affects me emotionally. I can’t always see my friends when my mother is having a down day. The ID card will help with things like accompanying my mother to medical appointments.”
The card has been developed in partnership with the council’s Young Carer’s Service, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire County Councils alongside Carers Trust Crossroads West Wales as part of a Welsh Government and Carers Trust initiative.
Council officers are currently working with departments within the council to look at providing benefits and discounts that the Young Carer ID card will give.
Plans are also in place to work with local businesses and organisations that can support discounts and benefits to cardholders.
Carmarthenshire County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, Cllr Glynog Davies, said: “Young carers do a wonderful job and life can be extremely challenging for them at times. These cards will help support them with their caring responsibilities and enable them to access services much more smoothly. They will also help schools put measures in place to support them. It is also hoped that the card will give young carers the confidence to ask for help or understanding from professionals like teachers, doctors and pharmacists in a discreet way.”
Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan, said: “I want to express my thanks to all of Wales’ young carers and young adult carers for the fantastic support they give to family and friends in such testing times.
Even before the pandemic started we knew young carers and young adult carers faced numerous pressures whilst caring for someone. The past 12 months have shown us that unfortunately many people don’t know how to recognise, help or support a young carer.”
This national ID card will give young carers a quick way to easily inform their teachers, supermarket staff, pharmacies or their GP surgery, that they look after someone. It will also help them access their rights under our Social Services and Well-being Wales Act 2014, including their right to a carers’ needs assessment.”
I am pleased that we are working closely with local authorities like Carmarthenshire and our partners in Carers Trust Wales. Together we can all deliver better support and recognition for young carers throughout Wales.”
Anyone interested can apply for a card on the Family Information Service website