What is a young carer and a young adult carer?

Young carers are young people who help care for a family member who is disabled, physically or mentally ill, has a long term serious illness or has a substance misuse problem. This is a role that many young people are happy and proud to do. However, inappropriate or excessive levels of caring can put their education, training or health at risk, and may prevent them from enjoying their childhood.

A young carer is a child or young person under 18 and a young adult carer is aged 18 - 25.

Some young carers may be susceptible to poor outcomes because they frequently miss out on normal childhood experiences and lack the social networks experienced by their friends without caring roles.

Evidence shows that 30% of Young Carers experience problems at school with attendance, attainment and social development, rising to 40% where they care within a family affected by substance misuse. In addition, there may be physical problems such as excessive tiredness or injury from lifting and assisting others, and emotional and mental health problems such as stress, anxiety, depression and a sense of isolation.

Young adult carers often do not have the same opportunities as other young people to continue their education, go to university, and go to work.

Often there will be more than one young carer in the family and the caring role is likely to extend beyond looking after the cared for person and may include taking siblings to school and looking after their social and emotional, as well as practical needs.

Carers Trust Heart of England - Young Carers' Project (age 5 - 18 years)

The Young Carers' Project [http://www.youngcarerscoventry.com/] is funded through Children in Need and the Big Lottery. They work with any young person aged between 5 and 18 years old who support a family member (physically or emotionally) who has a long term illness, physical/learning disability, mental ill health, drug or alcohol dependency or is elderly and frail.

In addition to emotional support, regular monthly activities are held for young carers.

Young Adult Carers - 16-25

Carers Trust Heart of England supports young adult carers aged 16-25.

They can support by providing:

  • Social events and trips
  • Education and training advice
  • Employment advice
  • Access to someone to talk about any problems or difficulties you may be experiencing.

For more information please contact:

Email: youngcarers@carerstrusthofe.org.uk [mailto:youngcarers@carerstrusthofe.org.uk ]
Phone: 024 7663 2972

Support in schools

Make sure your teacher or year head is aware that you are a young carer. They can help you if your caring role begins to affect you at school or if you have any problems, for example getting homework done or revising for exams. Your school may have a link worker or a school nurse that supports young carers.

If you need someone to support you when you talk about your caring role with your teacher, contact the Young Carers' Project [https://www.youngcarerscoventry.com/]. They have good links with many schools in Coventry and you may find that the support worker visits your school.

Young Carers Project

Address: Penny Collard Centre
Fleet Street

Telephone: 024 7663 2972 [tel:02476632972]

Get advice and chat to other young carers

Talking things through with someone who understands your situation can really help.

  • The Carers Trust Heart of England has specialist information, advice and support workers you and your family can talk to. Contact the Young Carers' Project [https://www.youngcarerscoventry.com/] or call them on 024 7663 2972
  • Other organisations such as the Coventry Alzheimer’s Society also have advisors and groups that might be helpful.

See our Information, advice and support for Carers pages [http://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/76/carers_support/2648/information_advice_and_support_for_carers_including_advocacy] for more information.

Know your rights

Download the Know your Rights: Support for Young Carers and Young Adult Carers in England guide from Carers Trust [https://carers.org/legal-and-rights/know-your-rights-support-for-young-carers-and-young-adult-carers-in-england] and find out more about your rights to an assessment and your rights to support as a family.

Getting into work

Download the Getting into work: A guide for Young Adult Carers guide from Carers Trust [https://carers.org/finding-paid-work/a-guide-to-getting-into-work-for-young-adult-carers].

"No Wrong Doors" - Working Together to Support Young Carers

This Memorandum of Understanding [https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/tw17_-_andy_mcgowan_-_no_wrong_doors_whole_family_approaches_to_improving_support_for_young_carers_and_parent_carers.pdf] is an agreement between Children's and Adults Social Services to ensure young carers are supported effectively and the lines of responsibility are clear.

The template is developed nationally between the Children's Society, Carers Trust, Association of Directors of Social Services (ADASS) and the Association of Directors of Children's Service (ADCS)

Councils can then amend the template to reflect local arrangements.

In Coventry we are in the process of agreeing the Memorandum of Understanding so this is not currently available.

However we have developed some supplementary good practice guides for workers in health, schools and social care which are available to download on the next page.

Supporting Young Carers - Good Practice Guides

If you work in health, social care or schools these guides provide advice and guidance about young carers and how to identify and support them.

Young Carer Aware - free online training

Are you young carer aware?

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 [/youngcarerawarecourse].

Despite the recent media focus on carers, a large and important group are all too often overlooked: young carers. And that's where our Young Carer Aware e-learning course can help.

Young Carer Aware provides everyone with a practical understanding of young carers and their needs. More importantly, though, it signposts all the sources of support that are available to help them enjoy a happy, fulfilling childhood.

Young Carer Aware is made up of four bite-sized sections:

  1. Young but not care free - Defines a "young carer" and provides key facts and figures on young carers and the work they do.
  2. Legislation and children's rights - Introduces the rights of children and the legislation in place to protect young carers. Now fully revised and updated to incorporate the Children & Families Act and Care Act.
  3. Meeting the needs of young carers - Explores the problems young carers can face and the services available to support them.
  4. Test your knowledge - Comprehensive mastery test to verify each user's knowledge and understanding of the contents of the course.