Young Carers

Young Carers are children and young people under the age of 18 who take on and provide a considerable amount of care and support to a family member or friend who has a physical or learning disability, long term illness, mental health needs or an issue with drugs or alcohol.

The Caring Role

Whilst most young people help or are expected to help parents around the house with basic tasks, some young people, dependent on the cared for persons needs and the family situations, take on caring responsibilities that are inappropriate and excessive for their age.

Caring Roles may cover:

  • Physical: Help with personal care such as washing, dressing, feeding, moving, handling and administering medication
  • Practical: Help within the home in cooking, cleaning, shopping, arranging to pay bills, collecting medication and arranging clinical appointments
  • Emotional: Emotional support to the cared for person or other family members in the home
  • Helping to look after siblings and other family members Full-time or part-time

Impact of Caring

All young people are individuals and have the right to lead a healthy, safe and happy childhood with the opportunity to learn, grow and achieve as young people and become independent adults. The impact of caring can be profound on young people’s lives and development and can include:

  • Feeling that there is no one there for them, that professionals do not listen to them or understand and work only with adults
  • Lack of recognition and respect of their caring role
  • Problems at school - poor attendance, achievement and not being able to complete homework
  • Problems moving into adulthood - further education and employment
  • Isolation and a poor social network with children of similar age
  • Lack of time for leisure activities
  • Being Bullied and stigmatised
  • Feeling guilty conflicts between their own needs and those of the cared for person and other family members
Who is a Carer?    Young Adult Carers    How do we Support Carers?

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