Davidson, Sarah Katherine (2009)
Ed.Psych.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Young carers are young people under the age of eighteen who provide substantial amounts of care on a regular basis to another family member. Over the past ten years there has been a growing awareness within societal agendas about the potential vulnerability of this group in terms of educational, emotional and social outcomes, and recommended guidelines for good practice with young carers have been produced for schools (e.g. Frank 2002). This thesis is an account of an episode of action research, undertaken by an educational psychologist in her employing local authority, which explores the perceptions of key stakeholders (adults in schools, children and young people and young carers) about selected recommendations for good practice and how they can be implemented in schools. The thesis considers the salutogenic aspects of the recommendations and the findings indicate that all stakeholder groups are broadly positive about the guidelines and their value in fostering mechanisms for social support for young carers. The thesis also considers the role of the educational psychologist as an external change agent and the efficacy of “one-off” training in schools regarding this topic. The findings suggest that whilst the training may have prompted further action within the majority of schools, the good practice guidelines need to become part of a school’s “organisational architecture” (Senge et al 2000) in order to become embedded in a school’s procedures.
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