Who is a young carer?
Young carers are children and young people under 18 years old who provide regular and on-going care to another person who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances. Many young people don’t see themselves as carers and may not realise there is practical and emotional support available in Essex.
You may be a young carer if you:
- care for a family member, because of illness, disability or old age
- help someone with bathing or dressing, going to the toilet or getting into/out of bed
- need to cook for your family
- look after money or organise the family budget
- help anyone to take medication regularly
- collect prescriptions or benefits on behalf of someone else or go shopping for the family
- look after brothers or sisters, by taking them to school, doing their laundry, or cooking their meals
- take care of housework, such as dusting, hoovering, washing or ironing
- speak on behalf of someone who has difficulty speaking or communicating for themselves
- translate or interpret for someone at home
The effects of being a young carer
- You have responsibilities at home that prevent you from spending time with your friends, or inviting them around your house.
- You feel sad, angry, guilty or embarrassed about the help you give to anyone at home.
- You feel upset that friends don’t have the same responsibilities.
- You avoid telling anyone outside the family about your home situation.
How can a key worker help?
The Essex Youth Service offer free personalised support to young carers and their families that will be developed with you around your need for help and the caring you do.
The service offers:
- Confidential one-to-one support with a dedicated key worker in the area you live, including telephone support.
- Information, advice and guidance and assisting you to access other services to support you as a young carer.
- Training opportunities e.g. moving people safely, building confidence and self-esteem, fire safety and access to counselling services if needed.
- Recreational activities to take you away from your caring role and meet other young carers and make new friends.
- Transition to adult carer services as you come up to 18.
More information on the young carers service can be found on the Essex Youth Service website.
How can you access the service?
Families or young carers themselves can self-refer or a referral can be made by professionals including GP’s, NHS staff, Social Workers and Teachers. This can be done via an online form or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.