What are young carers?
“Young carers are children under 18 who look after a family member or a friend. There are many reasons why they may take on this role. Their extra responsibilities often mean they miss out on school and hanging out with friends. It can change and affect their whole childhood.
Who are young carers?
Some young children, often from an early age, take on regular or ongoing care and support for another family member (usually a parent or sibling) with a physical or mental illness, a disability, or who is struggling with substance misuse.
Why do young carers need support?
Young carers often have to assume a level of responsibility that would normally only be asked of an adult. The stress and anxiety that this can cause can leave them feeling isolated and unsupported. Many miss out on their childhood and youth as time constraints make it impossible for them to attend school or take part in leisure activities with their peers.
How do we want to support Young Carers?
We want to make sure every young carer gets the same opportunities in education as well as in life as those who don't have to care for someone. It shouldn't have to hold them back.
Where to get further information and support
- Carer support centre – Bristol and South Glos - https://www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk/
Our Young Carers Service provides help and support to children aged 8-18, their families and professionals working with young carers in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
- Children’s society - https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/
We provide specialist support that empowers young people to make positive changes and rediscover their hope. They want a future they can look forward to and we’re here to make sure they get it. Working alongside young people, their families and community, we will not rest until together, step-by-step, we've created a society built for all children.
- Carers Trust - https://carers.org/
Being a young carer is a risk factor for the mental health of children and young people. #CareForMeToo is a Carers Trust campaign that aims to raise awareness about mental health and improve support for young carers.
- Spurgeons - https://spurgeons.org/our-services/young-carers
Spurgeons offers a wide range of services to support young carers, from mentoring and educational support to activities and trips away to give them much needed time out from their caring duties.
- Carers UK - https://www.carersuk.org/
We're here to make sure that no matter how complicated your query or your experience, you don't have to care alone. Our expert telephone advice and support service is here if you want to talk about caring. If you're looking for answers, our online information and support is the best place to start.