A young carer is a child or young person, under the age of 18, whose life is restricted because of the need to care for someone who is frail or ill, has a disability or mental health condition or is affected by substance misuse.
Whilst the young person may be happy helping the person they care for, the situation they are in:
- can sometimes be stressful;
- can affect their education; and
- can make it hard to find time to relax and enjoy life with friends.
Despite their caring responsibilities young carers have the right to be cared for and to enjoy life in the same way other children and young people do.
The Wandsworth Young Carers Strategy sets out what young carers in Wandsworth can expect from universal services and in addition there are some services specifically commissioned to support young carers.
The Wandsworth Young Carers Project provide support for young carers in the borough and ensures they have a break and can meet other young people in the same circumstance.
This e-learning module from The Children's Society is useful for any pracitioners who may be working with young carers now, or in the future.
From April 1st 2015, changes in legislation mean that every young carer has the right to an assessment of their needs. Regardless of who they are or what type of care they provide, every young carer, their parent/carer or a professional can request an assessment from their Local Authority. This assessment must consider the whole family and the needs of the person being cared for. Wandsworth are committed to supporting young carers and would encourage any child or young person who carries out caring to request an assessment. To do so, please call 020 8871 6622 or Email: MASH@wandsworth.gov.uk
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Watch the short film below to find out find out more about young carers.