Young carers: support and advice

 Children and young people under 18 who have caring responsibilities are often referred to as 'young carers.'

These are young people whose lives are restricted in some way because they're supporting or taking responsibility for the care of a person. The person they care for might be who ill, misuse substance or have a disability or mental illness.

The majority of young carers are from single parent families and take on adult responsibilities.

Not every young person who has a parent, sibling or grandparent who's ill or disabled is a young carer. However, of those young people who are taking on extra responsibilities, research shows that:

  • one quarter are missing school or have difficulties with lateness, time to do homework or have other problems
  • 12 per cent of young carers are caring for more than one person
  • more than half are providing care for their mother and one third for their brothers or sisters

Young carers will usually need support from our Adult Care services or Children's services. We will assess the support needs of the adult or sibling child they care for and ensure that those needs are met by paid services as far as is possible, so that the young carer has to do as little as possible for that person.

They may also need support from children's services in their own right as a “child in need” of extra support.

The following publications may be of use to those working with young carers or to young carers themselves:

Health Care

Do you look after someone?  Have you had a health check in the last six months?  Do you need any support? 

Find out more if you're a young carer or a professional working with young carers:

Tower Hamlets Youth Service: Young Carers and Siblings Group

Our Youth services operate the Young Carers and Siblings Group.

Young carers aged between 8 and 18 years are welcome to attend. The project aims to:

  • give young carers the opportunity to take a break from the daily responsibilities of being a carer
  • give young carers the opportunity to mix with other young carers in a social setting and engage in sports, leisure and social activities;
  • support young carers on any issues concerning them and offer one to one advice and guidance from the borough's core team of personal advisors.

The group take part in activities such as art, drama, music, photography, canoeing, biking, climbing, swimming, cinema, bowling, day trips. Other activities are also organised - as decided by the young people who attend.

Through club based and non-club based activities the young carers will be supported by personal advisors to develop their self-esteem and self-confidence.

Club sessions

The club-based activities take place on Tuesdays from 5-7pm at:

Limehouse youth Hub
Limehouse Causeway
E14 8BN

For more information please contact:

Abdul Azim
Tel: 020 7364 6387
Mobile: 07908 123 964

Download the Young carers project poster.

Carers Connect Project

The Carers Connect Project supports young carers and their families living with someone who has mental health problems.

It's run by Family Action (formerly Family Welfare Association) based at:

Albert Jacob House
62 Roman Road
London E2 0PG

For Carers Connect, call: 020 7364 3497. 
For general enquiries or referral calls: 020 7364 3491

The aim is to give young carers and their families some relief from the pressures they face and, through our programme of outings and events, give them opportunities to meet and make friends with other children in similar circumstances.

Toyhouse Libraries Family Play Young Carers' Group

For children, aged 11 and under, and their siblings and parents. 

Toyhouse Libraries Association of Tower Hamlets
The Toyhouse Centre
92 St Paul's Way
London E3 4AL
Tel: 020 7987 7399

The groups meets on Saturday mornings.

Further information

For further information, please contact Khalida Khan, Service Manager Integrated Services for Disabled Children on 020 7364 2129.