Support for young carers
Are you under 18 and looking after someone in your family who is ill or disabled? This may be a parent, a brother or sister or a grandparent. Maybe you help by staying at home a lot to be there for them, helping them get washed or dressed, perhaps translating and interpreting for them, or doing lots of cleaning, shopping and cooking.
If this sounds like you, then you are a young carer. It may seem a strange way to describe yourself, because looking after someone in your family may feel like a natural role. But being a carer means you may have the right to help and support to make life easier.
Looking after someone can be stressful
It can be stressful as well as hard work looking after someone, even when you love them. And it can make it harder to keep up with things at school or to find time for yourself to relax, have fun or see your friends.
Help from the council
As a young carer you are entitled to get help and support. The council will not be looking to stop from you from supporting the person you look after, nor to separate you from that person. They will ask you what sort of support you would like to make your life and your caring role easier.
Support is available from the Early Help Teams in Family Services in the relevant borough. They can provide young carers with:
- An assessment of their needs
- One to one support for young carers with a high level of need
- Advice to support young carers in their caring role
- Information about other support services and activities they engage in
You can contact the council directly. Or, if you prefer, you can ask someone you know to contact them for you - maybe a friend or relative, a teacher, or your family doctor. Don't be afraid to ask - it is important to get the help you are entitled to.
Access to Children's Services Team (9am to 5pm weekdays) or outside of these times the Emergency Duty Team on 020 7641 6000.
Young Adult Carers
Young Adult Carers (those aged 18 and over) are supported by the Carers Network. Early Help will support Young Carers aged 17 in the transition to adult support services.
Details of the support provided by Carers Network can be found via their website.
See the referral form. Completed forms should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
There are organisations in your local area dedicated to providing specialist advice and support to carers, and various other organisations and groups offering support and activities.
DreamArts Carers Express Project
A group project for Young Carers aged 11 - 19 years. This project offers a range of creative and therapeutic activities including drama and sculpture that enable participants to share their stories, learn from and spend time with other young carers and build confidence and self-esteem. They are also being supported with their personal development and resilience.
Click here to view the range of activities offered by DreamArts in the borough
Family Lives - Young Carer Project
Offers 1:1 personal support from a Young Person’s Worker for young carers aged 10 - 15 years. Support is focused on the young carers well-being increasing the young carer’s confidence and self-esteem, reducing feelings of isolation enabling them to be confident in accessing support and providing them with information on support and services available to them.Family Lives also offer a social group for all young people aged 10 - 15 in the City (including young carers) at the Portman Children’s Centre.
If you would like to refer a young person please email me for referral form:
email@example.com or call 07921 456 656 to discuss.
Offer respite residentials to junior young carers (under 12) focused on opportunities for the child to do activities that they may not get the opportunity to take part in regularly because of their caring responsibilities such as cooking, arts and crafts and outdoor play. Referrals are made through Family Services (see details of how to refer to Family Services below) email firstname.lastname@example.org or see the website www.honeypot.org.uk for more details.
OurTime (formerly KidsTime)
Is a workshop based project, offering support to children and young people whose parents are suffering/affected by parental mental health. Kidstime is for all the family-parents, carers, children and young people from 4 -18 years.
- Help children and young adults make sense of what has happened to their parents in a safe and understandable way.
- Help parents to manage better when stressed by mental health problems.
- Help families talk together so that they can find better solutions.
- Help children and young people have fun together (through drama and creative activities) and with their parents, while learning to cope with pressures and grow emotionally.
- Assesment for young carers
- Rights of young carers
- Renaissance Foundation - based in East London, work with young carers age 13-18. A 3-year programme focused on needs and aspirations improving their resilience, developing soft skills and life tools such as public speaking abilities and critical thinking and broadening their horizon of work.