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 are supporting or taking responsibility for care of a person who is ill, has a disability or mental illness or misuses a substance. 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 is ill or disabled is a young carer, but of those young people who are taking on extra responsibilities, recent research has shown that:
- one quarter are missing school or have difficulties with lateness, no 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 adults, health and well-being services or children's social care services. They 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:
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 are a young carer or a professional working with young carers.
Tower Hamlets Youth Service: Young Carers and Siblings Group
London Borough of Tower Hamlets Youth services are operating 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 can take part in activities such as art, drama, music, photography, canoeing, biking, climbing, swimming, cinema, bowling, day trips and other activities 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 through group based activities and one to one support from a personal advisor.
Club session timetable
Tuesday: 5pm to 7pm
The club-based activities take place at: Limehouse youth Hub, Limehouse Causeway, E14 8BN
The Young carers project poster is available to download.
For more information please contact:
Tel: 020 7364 6387
Mobile: 07908 123 964
Carers Connect Project
The Carers Connect Project supports young carers and their families living with someone who has mental health problems. It is run by Family Action (formerly Family Welfare Association) based at:
Albert Jacob House
62 Roman Road
London E2 0PG
Carers Connect Project telephone number 020 7364 3497
For general enquiries or referrals: 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 up the age of 11, with their siblings and parents. Saturday mornings.
Toyhouse Libraries Association of Tower Hamlets
The Toyhouse Centre
92 St Paul's Way
London E3 4AL
Tel: 020 7987 7399
For further information, please contact Khalida Khan, Service Manager Integrated Services for Disabled Children on 020 7364 2129.