What is a young carer?
A young carer is a child or young person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care, practical help or emotional support to another person.
They carry out important caring tasks and take on responsibilities that would usually be expected of an adult. These caring tasks might involve:
A young carer is defined as a person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person. The concept of care includes practical or emotional support
- personal care
- giving medication
- helping someone get up, get dressed, or get around
- emotional support for someone who has a mental health problem or substance addiction
The person being cared for is often a parent but can be a sibling, grandparent or other relative who is disabled, has a chronic illness, mental health problem, substance misuse problem, or other condition causing a need for care, support or supervision.
Many young carers are also responsible for looking after younger brothers and sisters and all or most of the household chores.
Young carers can be at risk of social isolation and bullying, under-achievement, absenteeism from school, and physical and mental ill health.
Young carers' rights
The Children and Families Act 2014 and The Care Act 2014 provide young carers and their families with stronger rights to be identified, offered information, receive an assessment and support.
For more information about the new assessment system and support for young carers, please see the Carers assessments & The Care Act guide.
Under The Care Act the Council has a duty to:
- Carry out a carer assessment for young carers who are approaching their 18th birthday.
- Identify, assess and support carers by working with other local organisations to ensure they are proactively identifying all young carers.
- Make sure the assessment process meets the criteria set out in legislation.
- Ensure we join up the work of Children's and Adult Services so that young carers and young adults can benefit from the services working together.
- Ensure that services working with young carers are aware that young carers now have stronger rights so they can make sure they benefit from these important changes.
For information and advice or to arrange an assessment please contact Children's Social Care on 0191 424 5010.
For Carers Support Services contact the Carers Association South Tyneside on 0191 424 3346.
Find out more about the help and support available to young carers at NHS Choices Young Carers Rights.
School drop-in sessions
There are monthly drop-in sessions at the beginning of each month in all secondary schools in South Tyneside.
If you are a young carer in South Tyneside the drop-in sessions are a great chance to meet other young carers in your school and chat to the school support staff.
At every drop-in session there is a game or an activity as well as snacks to enjoy while chatting to other young carers.
If you would like to come along to a session, or check session dates and times (as these may change) please call 07713342056 / 0191 4061531. Or ask a member of your school mentoring team for more information.
These sessions take place within the first week of the month:
These sessions take place within the second week of the month:
Please note: Dates and times may change. To check the details of any session please call 07713342056 / 0191 4061531. Or ask one of your school mentoring team.
- the drop-in sessions are for young carers only
- young carers can only attend sessions at the school they attend
Useful links for young carers
Discussion boards, blogs, live webchats, and lots of information for carers.
NHS Choices: Young carers
Lots of information about being a young carer, including your rights, advice about your caring role, going to school, as well as where you can go for help, and much more.
This Carers Trust site is aimed at young carers. You will find information for young carers, videos, webchats, blogs, and more.