What do we mean by ‘Young Carer’ or ‘Young Adult Carer’?
A Young Carer is a young person under the age of 18 caring for someone in their family while a Young Adult Carer usually refers to someone age 18-25. They may be supporting a family member for various reasons, including someone with a long-term health condition, disability or substance misuse issue. This is usually someone who the young person lives with such as their parent or sibling but can include other family members they see regularly.
How might a Young Carer help out?
Young Carers can provide support in different ways, for example they might carry out practical or physical tasks, or support with medical or personal care. Many young carers are also providing emotional support, for example to family members with a mental health condition. This type of care goes unseen by others but provides much needed support to the family member. Often young people are not even aware that what they are doing is considered caring.
How does this affect a Young Carer?
Depending on the level of support a young person provides, their caring responsibilities can have a significant impact on their health, education or social life. For example, inappropriate levels of care can impact on a young person’s own emotional or physical well-being. They may feel tired from getting up in the night to support their sibling or be anxious or fearful about their parent’s health. Looking after someone can also impact on a young person’s social life or educational achievement as they may have less time to spend with friends, or to do homework.
What support is available?
The Young Carers Project supports young people living in Brighton and Hove aged 6-17 to access the help they need to manage their caring role and its impact. The Carers Hub also supports Young Adult Carers up to the age of 25. We offer 1:1 emotional support so young people can have someone to talk to about their caring role and better understand their family member’s condition or disability. We advocate on the young carer’s behalf with other professionals to ensure they get the right support and to limit the impact of the caring role. Young carers can meet others in a similar situation at our activities which run after school and in the holidays, giving them much needed respite time and the chance to relax and have fun together.