Young carers – who are they and what do they do?
A young carer is someone under the age of 18 who assists in the care or support of someone in their family or a friend who has:
- A disability
- Illness or long term health condition
- A mental health condition
- Misuses drugs or alcohol
The term “young carer” does not apply to the everyday and occasional help around the home that may often be expected of or given by children in families.
What might a young carer do?
- Practical tasks such as cooking, housework and shopping
- Physical care such as helping someone out of bed
- Emotional support
- Personal care such as helping someone to dress
- Managing the family budget
- Helping to give medications
- Looking after brothers and sisters
Young carers can learn lots of useful skills and be well adapted to their circumstances. However, it is also important to recognise some of the challenges young carers may face, including the impact on their emotional or physical wellbeing, education and social opportunities.
There are an estimated 700,000 young carers across the UK. Here in North Lincolnshire we strive to ensure that young carers within our area are identified at the earliest opportunity to ensure that the right type of support is offered at the right time.
What does the Wellbeing and Young Carers Team provide?
- When a child is providing care, or is intending to provide care, they are entitled to an assessment of their needs as a young carer. The team uses a whole family approach to consider the needs of other family members including the cared for person.
- Information, advice and support in relation to reducing higher levels of caring, exploring ways to reduce the impact of caring and, if required, supporting the young carer in their understanding of the cared for person’s condition.
- Help for young carers to access adult services carer support on turning 18.
- Opportunities to have a break from caring responsibilities, including access to life skill courses such as first aid.
- Information and advice to other services and schools to ensure that our partners are assisting in the early identification and support of young carers.
- Information and advice in relation to other support and services available in the area.
- Young carers and their families have a right to be well informed about services available to them should they wish to access them. This will help to reduce situations in families when there is a change of circumstance that may lead to a crisis and potentially the need for emergency support.
How do I make a referral?
Please contact us by telephone to speak to one of our young carer support staff.
Self referrals will be accepted. Services and other professionals referring in may be asked to provide an Early Help Assessment supporting the referral.
Young Carers video
The animation for the Young Carers video was the creation of 22 young carers aged between seven and 17. They wanted to get their stories and key messages across about what life is like as a young carer.
This project was funded by Children in Need.
We worked with Focus 7 Media and the START Project over a two week period. The young carers that took part worked on story boarding, set building, clay modelling, camera work, voice overs and scripted content, including facts and key messages.
Take a look at their video below: