Young carers are children and young people under 18, whose lives are affected by caring for a member of their family. They may care for a relative who has a physical or learning disability, a long term illness, a terminal condition, mental ill health, or difficulties with drug or alcohol use.
Most young carers look after one of their parents or care for a brother or sister. They do extra jobs in and around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, or helping someone to get dressed and move about. Young carers may feel good about the help that they give and be proud of the skills they have, however, caring may also impact on:
- their attendance at school or college
- completing homework and gaining qualifications
- taking part in after school club, school trips or residential opportunities
- enjoying time with friends or taking part in hobbies
- their own mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Young people under 18 should not undertake inappropriate or excessive caring roles that have an impact on their development and wellbeing. So that we can effectively support young carers, we:
- identify young carers at the earliest opportunity to ensure support services are developed for a whole family approach
- support young carers to achieve their potential and have equal access as their peers to education, careers choices and broader opportunities
- safeguard young carers from inappropriate and excessive caring responsibilities.
Young carers support
There are a wide range of young carer support services currently available:
Carers Trust (Peterborough)
Carers Trust is a local organisation that has been commissioned by us to provide a range of support to help 8 to 25 year olds caring for a family member to have a break from their caring role and have fun with other young carers or young adult carers.
There are different rights for young carers and young adult carers for them to get support depending on their age. In this guide you can find out about what rights you have and how to get more support.
Babble - an online community for young carers
Babble has been created by Carers Trust as an online space where those aged under 18 who are caring for a family member or friend can chat, share their experiences and access information and advice. The site aims to bring together young carers from across the UK in an online space which is safe, fun and supportive.
NHS Choices - Carers Direct
If you need to talk to someone about what options are available, Carers Direct advisers can give you information to help make decisions about your personal support needs and the needs of the person you are looking after.