Young carers are children and young people who look after someone in their family who has an illness, a disability, or is affected by mental ill-health, or alcohol or substance misuse.
Young carers often take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.
The tasks young carers carry can vary according to the nature of the illness or disability of the person they are looking after, 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, or helping a family member on stairs or with physiotherapy
- Personal care, such as dressing, washing, or helping with toileting needs
- Managing the family budget, collecting benefits and prescriptions
- Administering medication
- Provide 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, but for some it may be frequent low levels of care. Either can impact heavily on a child or young person.
Newham Young Carers Service
Due to the differing needs between adult and young carers, Family Action runs a specialised Young Carers’ service which supports Young Carers aged 5-17, and will work jointly with the Adult Carers’ Service to help prepare Young Carers from the age of 16 to transition to the Adults’ Service.
The service offers support to young carers in lots of ways including:
- Young Carers assessments to measure caring role and impact both positive and negative
- Training/ advice and support to all services who may be working with Young Carers in Newham to increase identification and support for Young Carers in Newham
- Working with Newham schools to improve universal support for Young Carers
- Offering time-limited one-to-one, group work, and whole family assessment
- Themed workshops, groups and activities to develop and increase the Young Carers wellbeing and self-esteem
- Advocacy on behalf of the young carer and their family; and Parenting support
Family Action Newham Young Carers Service
Abbey Lane Children's Centre
1 Abbey Lane
Hannah Witcomb, Project Co-ordinator
Telephone: 020 8470 7782