Young Carers often take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult. The tasks undertaken can vary according to the nature of the illness or disability, the level and frequency of need for care and the structure of the family as a whole.
A Young Carer may do some or all of the following:
- Practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping
- Physical care, such as lifting, helping a parent on stairs or with physiotherapy
- Personal care, such as dressing, washing, helping with toileting needs
- Managing the family budget, collecting benefits and prescriptions
- Administering medication
- Looking after or “parenting” younger siblings
- Emotional support
- Interpreting, due to a hearing or speech impairment or because English is not the family’s first language
Some young carers may undertake high levels of care, whereas for others it may be frequent low levels of care. Either can impact heavily on a child or young person.
Young Carer's Assessment
A child or young person has the right to be assessed for support when they have the responsibility of helping to care for a parent or significant adult in his/her life who has a mental health, drug or alcohol problem, a chronic illness, or a physical or learning disability. The assessment will look at the effect the problem of caring has on the child/young person; what difficulties they need support with and how the quality of the Young Carer’s life can be improved through the provision of services. The views of the Young Carer on what they think will help them most will be taken into account.
At the end of the assessment, there will be an agreement with the family about what help can be offered from either Social Services or another agency and a plan on how to meet the needs of the Young Carer.
Young Carers Project
If you are a Young Carer, you need to have time off from caring, time to do the things that other young people may take for granted. Things like:
- Chilling out
- Having your own space
- Having fun
- Talking to someone
- Meeting other young people who care for someone
The Young Carers Project will:
- Support you
- Give you the chance to be yourself
- Give you some space
- Listen to anything you want to talk about
- Give advice or find out information if you need it
- Give help in practical ways so that you can spend more time with your friends