Young People as Carers
A young carer is someone up to the age of 18 who cares for a family member or friend with an illness, disability, mental health condition or addiction without being paid. A young adult carer is an unpaid carer who is aged up to 25 years old.
There are different rights for support for young carers and for young adult carers.
These are your rights
As a young carer or a young adult carer you have a right to be supported and to get the help you need. You have these rights whether you look after someone every day or from time to time, or if you do a lot or a little caring.
You might need support if you do a caring role that:
• Makes you feel worried, sad or lonely.
• Makes your health worse.
• Means that you miss out on time with friends.
• Means you do worse at school, college or university.
• Stops you getting a job or keeping a job.
• Stops you wanting to achieve your goals for the future.
Your needs are important and there are laws that require Councils to provide you with support. To do this Councils need to have a discussion with you so they know how best to support you. This discussion is called an "Assessment" and in it the Council will find out more about you and the caring that you do. These assessments are about looking at whether you need support. The support offered is about making sure you stay well, can fully reach your potential in education and other learning opportunities, and have opportunities to take part in activities and have fun.
For more information read the leaflet by the Carers Trust, a major charity for, with and about carers. They work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.
You can find out about assessments from the Carers UK website. Carers UK makes life better for carers by providing expert information, advice and support, campaigning for lasting change and finding new ways to support carers with their caring role.
Young carers can refer themselves, or be referred by other people, for example a health professional, teacher, youth worker or family members using the multi-agency referral form.
Wandsworth Young Carers Project
An example of the support available, for young carers is the Wandsworth Young Carers Project. This offers weekly support including group sessions during term time. Transport can be provided if needed. There are monthly activities like going to the cinema or GoApe. It's a chance to interact with other young carers from around the borough.
The Young Carers Project is a place where young people can come regularly to give them a break from their caring responsibilities whilst participating in activities and interacting with other young carers. It offers a space where friendships can be built and maintained. The programme and activities for the group are discussed and planned with the young carers, ensuring it meets their needs and includes activities and trips they would enjoy. Snacks are also provided.
This is what some of the young carers have said;
For more information read the attached Wandsworth Young Carers Project leaflet. If you are a young carer you can complete the multi-agency referral form yourself or ask someone else like your parent, teacher or youth worker to refer you.
Wandsworth Carers Centre
The Wandsworth Carers Centre supports Carers, in their caring role, to have a life outside of caring and to have a voice. With offices in both Wandsworth and Balham, we are able to deliver our services throughout the Borough. Visit the Wandsworth Carers Centre for more information.
Wandsworth Young Carers Strategy
As part of our commitment to children and young people who provide care to a member of their family, we have produced a Wandsworth Young Carers Strategy. During November 2020 we consulted on this strategy, and asked for feedback on the strategy and your ideas on how we could engage with and offer support when required to more young carers living in Wandsworth.
Following engagement during November 2020 on our Young Carers’ Strategy we produced the Wandsworth Young Carers' Strategy for 2020-2023.
Who to contact
- Contact Name
- Taye Thompson
- 07557 191 709 / 020 8871 8530
Young carers can refer themselves, or be referred by a health professional or care agency.
Last updated: 26 Sep 2022