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Young Carers

What is a young carer?

Young carers are children and young people who are the main carers of a sick or disabled parent or sibling. The type of care may be physical and sometimes can include emotional care and reassurance.

There are about 51,000 children and young people in the UK who are involved in caring for someone. The person that they care for is usually a parent or sibling, but can also have a role in caring for the extended family such as an aunt or grandparent.

Young carers face serious caring responsibilities. In addition to the daily tasks they complete for the person they are caring for such as housework, cooking and bathing, they live with the added pressure of school, and often, a lack of understanding from school mates. The physical and emotional strain of the provision of that care can affect the day to day life of that young person and can sometimes be too much to cope with.

Support for young carers

If you would like to talk to someone about being a young carer there is a range of people that will listen and understand. They are:

  • Young Carers Officer - Maggie Harris is a specialist employed by us to help young carers. Maggie is happy to come and visit you at home to find out more about you. She can also answer any questions that you have or just listen if you need someone to talk to. Telephone 01202 261590.

  • The Quay Advice Service - Information, advice and counselling for young people, telephone 01202 262291
  • Your Health Visitor - Book an appointment to see your health visitor through your doctors surgery

  • Your School Nurse or pastoral care teacher - If you think that caring is affecting your progress at school some schools have a teacher with special responsibility for young carers

  • Your education Welfare Officer - If you are having difficulties at school or find it difficult to attend school regularly

Young Carers Project

The Young Carers Project offers young carers:

  • individual advice and support

  • the opportunity to meet other carers

  • regular trips and activities

  • a newsletter

Our Young Carers Officer runs three groups for young carers aged:

  • 5-10 years

  • 10-14 years

  • 14-17 years

The groups run different activities that you can join in, which have included a drama course and football school, using Youth Centres, going to the park and the beach. We occasionally go on bigger trips, and we have been to Thorpe Park and Brownsea Island.

If you need transport to get to the group we can help. We may also be able to help if you need someone to look after the person that you care for while you come to the group.

If you would like someone to contact you regarding our support services for young carers including the Young Carers Project then please complete the Young Carers Enquiry Form or call us on 01202 735046 and ask for the Assessment Team.

Young carers rights

Young carers have legal rights under the The Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 and the Children Act 1989 where they can be identified as children in need.

Not all young carers experience problems, but those who do, tell us that main issues for them are:

  • Tiredness and worry (sometimes leading to poor performance at school)

  • Having to do things which they don’t like (e.g. changing incontinence pads)

  • Having to look after themselves more than other children of a similar age

  • A feeling of grief and sadness about their situation

  • Missed time from school

  • Restricted leisure activities

  • Isolation and feeling different

  • Bullying

  • Not getting equal attention (attention is sometimes diverted to the cared for person)

  • Not being recognised in their own right as a result of being the cared for persons sister, brother, son, daughter etc.

  • Being left out of special treats which the cared for person might receive

We encourage parents to recognise the needs of children who are caring and to use the range of facilities which are in place to support these young people. Children who are caring have a right to assessment under the Children Act. The assessment helps a social worker to find out what can be offered to help the young carer.

The result of the assessment might be:

  • Information

  • Advice

  • A change in the care plan of the service user

  • Services provided to the carer

Changes in the care plan would only happen as a result of negotiations with the service user. Some children may be offered an opportunity to join a young carers group which provides an opportunity for respite and support.

Further information

Further information to help with any issues you may have over health conditions and staying well may be obtained from the following organisations:

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Contact us

Opening Hours

Young Carers Officer Telephone 01202 261590

Email
mash@poole.gov.uk

Telephone
01202 735046

Text Relay
18001 01202 735046

Address
Children & Young Peoples Social Care
14a Commercial Road Poole
BH14 0JW