A young carer is a child or young person under the age of 18 who has responsibility for a relative who has a long term illness or disability or is older and frail. The caring role may be physical, emotional or both.
The family member may have a physical or learning disability, a long term life limiting illness, problems concerning mental health or alcohol or drug abuse related problems.
Young carers may be:
Children or young people who are the sole carer in the home
Children or young people who are supporting another adult family member in care tasks
Children or young people who are also taking on parenting responsibilities for younger brothers and sisters because their parents are unable to or need assistance at particular times
Children or young people who are not necessarily providing care but are substantially affected by disability in the family
We have produced some guidance for staff about the identification of young carers, their rights and how they may be supported in Dudley. Please see the documents to the right. This guidance is in the process of being ratified by both Adult and Children's Services. The responsibility for supporting the young carer generally rests with the team / agency which has the responsibility for supporting the cared for person. This could be adult services, children services or a Mental Health Trust. In addition we have specialist support which focuses on the young carer which is provided by Spurgeons. Think Local Act Personal recently launched Making it Real for Young Carers and we are currently looking at how we support Young Carers in the light of these guidelines
Specialised support for carers aged 18 and under is now provided by national charity Spurgeons.
1-2-1 young carer support
Information, guidance and signposting
Emotional support through counselling
Training sessions and workshops
10 week F.U.N (Fitness, Understanding, Nutrition programme for young carers)
Support at professional meetings
School support and transition to college/university or employment.
Spurgeons also works in schools and colleges to help them to recognise and support young carers. In addition they have a small amount of funding to develop support for young adult carers aged 19-25 years. Contact them on 01902 877 550, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.spurgeons.org.
If you would like to find out more about the role and rights of young carers and how they can be supported why not take a look at our Young Carer Aware course (currently unavailable).
All your questions answered
Take the test and get your certificate
Revisit the course and information as often as you wish
Connexions offers advice to young people between the ages of 13-19 (or 25 if you have a disability) on a range of topics from employment and training, to health and housing needs. Staff from Connexions are aware of the role of young carers and where additional support may be found. Click on the link for information about Connexions and local contact details http://www.connexionsdudley.org/.
The What Centre offers advice, information and counselling sessions to all young people between the ages of 13-25. They have funding from the Carers Grant specifically to offer individual support to young adult carers between the ages of 18-25. Contact them on 01384 379992 or email email@example.com or see their website www.thewhatcentre.com.
We recently carried out a consultation with young people about their role as carers and their support needs. The report is in Related documents. The work helped us considerably in the tendering process for the Young carers project. Some of the young carers were actively involved in the tendering. We will now be working with Spurgeons and other agencies to develop further our support for these young people. After the consultation a small group of young people enjoyed a day with a 'portable video studio' - making their own video, acting in it and talking about their role as carers. Click on the link below to watch the video.
Draft Protocol for supporting young carers in Dudley [pdf / 89KB] Updated January 2013