What is a Young Carer?
A Young Carer is someone under the age of 18 who has caring responsibilities for a family member at home. This could be a sibling, a parent or a member of their extended family.
They may have:
- A serious or long-term illness
- A physical disability
- A mental health problem
- Problems with drugs or alcohol
- A learning disability
- Difficulties in coping with being a parent or carer
Young Carers may carry out tasks and household jobs like:
- Preparing and cooking food
- Helping with personal care and hygiene
- Giving medication
- Communicating on someone’s behalf
- Ensuring someone’s safety
- Providing emotional support
- Paying bills
We also recognise that children and young people may also have additional caring responsibilities in the shorter term e.g. when a family member is in hospital or receiving treatment over a period of time.
If you are a Young Carer, doing some of these tasks might make it hard for you to come to school or affect your ability to focus and concentrate to the best of their ability when you are here.
- Be regularly late for school or have poor attendance
- Often seem tired, withdrawn or preoccupied
- Have difficulty in joining in activities outside of school hours (e.g. after school clubs or residential visits)
- Be a victim of bullying or have difficulties forming friendships
- Be under-achieving academically
- Not hand in homework
- Appear anxious and worried
- Display emotional or behavioural problems
- Have physical problems such as back pain from lifting adults
As a Young Carer, you might also:
- find that you can't go out with your friends
- be confused or angry about the situation at home
- have problems at school because of your reponsibilities at home
- feel alone and unable to talk to anyone about your situation
- need help with the caring
How do we support Young Carers?
We seek to raise awareness of this issue so that any child acting as Young Carers can be identified and supported. Pupils already identified as Young Carers know that they can speak to any member of staff if they feel they need extra support.
Wandsworth Carers' Centre
Wandsworth Carers' Centre can help families of Young Carers to get support in place for young people in their caring roles.
If you are a Young Carer or know a Young Carer, contact Wandsworth Carers' Centre to find out what support is available.
Call: 020 8877 1200