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Young carers are children and young people who are the main carers of a relative with a long-term illness or disability. Estimates of the number of young carers in the UK vary between 15,000 and 50,000.
Young carers can face serious caring responsibilities – as well as the daily tasks they complete for their parents such as housework, cooking and bathing, they live with the added pressure of school and, often, a lack of understanding from schoolmates.
The Council provides recreational respite, advocacy, a befriending service and therapeutic support to young people who have caring responsibilities for a relative with a long-term illness or disability.
Young carers have the same rights as older carers. They can also be considered ‘children in need’ under the Children’s Act 1989 depending upon whether or not the local authority considers the child’s caring role as preventing him/her from achieving or maintaining a reasonable standard of social opportunities and achieving full school attendance.
What help is available?
If you’re a carer aged 5-18, who is providing care to an adult over 18 years of age, you should contact the young carers’ project.
The project offers young carers and their families:
- support, information and advice
- recreational breaks
- a befriending service
- individual advice and support
- the opportunity to meet other carers
- regular trips and activities
- therapeutic support
For more information contact the young carers project at Action for Children or the Information and Assessment Team.