Young carers look after a family member such as a parent, brother, sister or other relative or they might care for a family friend. The person may live in the same house as the young carer or somewhere else.
Young carers provide physical care, emotional support, carry out domestic tasks like cooking and cleaning or provide child care. They may also do things like pay the household bills or translate for relatives who don’t speak English.
Half of all young carers provide up to 10 hours of care a week, while many others are caring for more than 50 hours a week. It’s not surprising that young carers often struggle to fit in other activities like school work, playing sport or meeting up with friends.
If you're under 18 years old, and provide unpaid care to anyone in your family who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances then you are a young carer.
Here are some examples of tasks a young carer may do:
- practical tasks - cooking, housework, shopping
- physical care - lifting, helping up the stairs, physiotherapy
- personal care s - dressing, washing and helping someone go to the toilet
- emotional support - listening, calming someone and being present
- household management - paying the bills, managing finances and collecting benefits
- looking after your brother or sister - putting them to bed and walking to school
- interpreting for parents with hearing or speech impediments or unable to speak English
- Administering medication - insulin needles and preparing daily tablets
The things you have to do at home may affect your schoolwork and your friendships. You may also feel a bit down.
You don’t have to cope on your own if you’re looking after an adult or a child in your family.
Young Carers can also apply for an ID Card Scheme to help them be recognised by professionals in their caring role.
At school or college - Young carer’s champion
Your school or college may have a ‘young carers’ champion’ – a member of staff whose job it is to help students like you. Or you can talk to someone at school or college who you like and trust. It could be a teacher or another member of staff. You can speak to them or give them a letter from home.
Whoever you speak to will be able to make sure that the school knows about and understands your situation. They can:
- discuss how you might be able to stay in touch with home during the school day
- make sure teachers are understanding and flexible if you’re struggling to keep up with homework or you arrive late
- listen to you if you need someone to talk to
- make an appointment for you to see the school nurse
You can get a young carer’s assessment if you’re 18 years old or younger though Rutland’s Referral Assessment and Intervention Service.
An assessment can be requested by phoning the team on 01572 758493. The team will send someone to your home to talk to you about your situation and work out how we can help you and your family. The person you care for may also need an assessment.
If you and the person you look after both agree, we will look at what help we can give the person you look after. This can include:
- equipment to help them move around the home, do day-to-day tasks and get out and about
- someone to come in to help them wash and dress
- help with cleaning and housework
We will also look at what you want and need outside home, for example:
- help with school and college work
- training to get a job
- help to get a job
- spending time away from your caring responsibilities
After the assessment, we will give you a plan for the things we will help you with and we will regularly check your progress.
- take time away from caring
- get the help the person you care for and your family need
- get out to activities
- find someone to talk to
Little Stars is for children aged from 5-8 , Young Stars is for children aged 8-12 and TOFU is for young people aged 13 and over.