Staff member

Sara, Managing Director of SYC

Got a few minutes? We’d highly recommend using them to read Sara Gowen’s fantastic blog post on her recent research, which posed the questions, ‘How can we prevent young carers undertaking inappropriate or excessive care?’ and, ‘What are the challenges, evidence and actions needed to ensure we are not relying upon children and young people to provide care?’.

We’ve included a small taster of Sara’s research below and you can read the full post here, on the Research in Practice website.

“Our research found that young carers are often holding responsibilities for caring for their family members 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. The young carers we talked to found night time caring responsibilities the most challenging, for example, the constant worrying, responsibility for checking on the cared for person, checking their home is safe and secured for the night. The disturbed nights and lack of sleep have a profound impact on young carers’ daily lives and especially on school days. We conclude that government needs to urgently ‘stop the clock’ on round the clock caring by young people through better monitoring, support and, where necessary, intervention.“

Maryam, Family Support Worker

My name is Maryam and I started working with SYC in 2011. The fact that SYC is a charity and does a lot of great work with vulnerable people made me want to be part of this kind of organisation.

One of the best things about working for SYC is that, as staff, we care about the people that we work with. We all want to make positive changes for vulnerable families. I feel that we are all passionate about the work that we do: I care a great deal about how I do my work.

‘Caring’ is an important aspect of what I do - it’s not just a job. I feel very privileged to walk into someone’s house and for them to let you in and tell you about their struggles. That is a very hard thing for anyone to do, to expose yourself emotionally, being open, honest and vulnerable.                  

The journey that I take with families is important to me. It helps us both to see the distance that we have travelled together from start to finish. Helping to resolve or address difficulties that families have had are important, as these can be the stumbling blocks in preventing them from enjoying their family life together. Reducing those stresses and anxieties is important, alongside creating some of the nicer moments like arranging a family holiday, so that they can create happy memories which is a really positive goal to work towards.

Family work is not an easy job. No one family is ever the same as another. However, when I have been able to work with a family to help them address their issues and enable them to move forward, that feels like a great achievement. Although the work can be challenging it is also extremely emotionally rewarding.