Young carers

Who is a Young Carer?

If you are under the age of 18 and you regularly provide emotional and/or practical care for a family member, you may be entitled to support from Children’s Services. For example, you can be given financial support or breaks from your caring responsibilities.

Young carers are defined as “Children and young people (under 18) who provide or intend to provide a substantial amount of care on a regular basis”.

How do I get support?

If you require support, either you or your family can ask Children’s Services for an assessment under section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

The assessment will look at:

  • How much and what type of care you are giving.
  • Whether the care you are giving is affecting your own health and well-being.
  • Whether any of your caring tasks are too much or whether it is not really right for you to be doing those types of tasks.
  • Whether support could be given directly to the person being cared for so you don’t need to.

You should be involved in the assessment as well as your parents and anyone else you or your parents want to be involved. Your wishes should be considered.

Useful organisations

Action for Children: various services providing practical and emotional support to young carers.
Contact: www.actionforchildren.org.uk or 01923 361500

Babble: an online community for young carers. www.babble.carers.org

Barnardos: support young carer’s and their families with various services
Contact: www.barnardos.org.uk (national office details are listed on the website)

Carers Direct helpline: confidential information and advice for carers 0300 123 1053

The Children’s Society: various services providing support to young carers
Contact: www.youngcarer.com or 01962 711511