Who is a young carer?
Young carers are children and young people who look after someone in their family who :
- has an illness
- has a disability
- is affected by mental ill-health
- is affected by alcohol or substance misuse.
What do young carers do?
Young carers often take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult. The help and support Young Carers provide can vary depending on:
- 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
Young Carers may help and support the person they care for in a number of ways, including:
- carrying out practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping
- providing physical care, such as helping someone out of bed or to use the stairs
- providing personal care, such as helping someone get washed or dressed
providing emotional support, such as talking to someone who is destressed or upset
- managing the family budget
- collecting prescriptions or administering medication
- helping someone communicate, this may be due to hearing or speech impairment, or because English is not the person's first language; or
- looking after siblings.
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.
Newhams Intergrated Carers Support Service
For many, caring is a rewarding and positive experience, but for others without the right help and support, caring can feel overwhelming. For some, caring can trigger feelings of loneliness and frustration and many often find their physical and emotional health, work or finances affected. You don’t need to wait until you are struggling or there is a crises to ask for support.
Carers FIRST provides an Integrated Carers Support Service, this means they offer support to all Carers from the age of 5 and upwards. Any Carers who would like support can refer themselves, or they may be referred by a school or professional who knows the family with their permission.
The service can help with:
- tailored information, advice and guidance, including specialist support for Young Carers aged 5-18
- the opportunity to talk in detail about your caring role and co-produce a plan to support you, linking into other local services
- help you access and prepare for a carer’s assessment
- support with conversations with people and services including GPs, social care and hospitals
- practical training to help you with your caring role
supporting families to maximise household income by providing information about welfare benefits and financial support
- opportunities to access groups, activities and our Carers on-line forum so you can meet and chat to others in a similar situation to yourself
- regular contact by telephone, CarersFIRST website and on-line chat, monthly e-bulletins and regular “What’s On” guides containing details of groups supported by Carers FIRST and other organisations and
- support you to plan for now, the future and emergencies.
Contact Carers First
Call: 0300 303 1555
Carers FIRSTalso run “virtual” drop-in sessions on Wednesday evenings 6-8pm. You can visit their website and click on the “Chat to Us” button and a member of the team will be there to talk to you.