Who are Young Carers?
Young Carers are children and young people up to the age of 18 who help to look after a family member with an illness, disability or addiction to drugs or alcohol. Young people aged between 16 and 24 in a caring role are Young Adult Carers.
Young Carers often take on a lot of adult responsibilities that their friends and classmates don’t. For example:
- Practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping.
- Physical care, such as helping someone out of bed.
- Emotional support, such as talking to someone who is distressed.
- Personal care, such as helping someone dress.
- Managing the family budget and collecting prescriptions.
- Helping to give medicine.
- Helping someone communicate.
- Looking after brothers and sisters.
The Impact of Caring
Caring for a loved one can be very rewarding but it can also have an impact on a young person’s education and social life. It can be hard to juggle homework, seeing friends or taking part in after-school activities with caring responsibilities. Young Adult Carers can find trying to manage further education, work, relationships and their caring role very difficult. Many Young Carers can feel stressed or anxious, they may feel isolated and unable to access the same opportunities as other people their age. Nearly a quarter of Young Carers report being bullied because of their caring role.
Facts and Figures
- It is estimated that there are up to 4000 Young Carers in Herefordshire
- Research indicates that 1 in 12 young people in UK secondary schools are either impacted by family ill health or carry a caring responsibility
- In a recent survey 39% of Young Carers said no one at their school was aware of their caring role
- The average age of a Young Carer is 12
- The 2011 census identified more than 375,000 young adult carers in the UK, but this is believed to be a huge underestimate of the true numbers as many young adults hide their caring role or do not identify themselves as carers.
- Caring can affect a young person’s health, social life and self confidence – over 45% reported a mental health problem.
- 29% of Young Adult Carers had dropped out of college/university because of their caring role. This is four times greater than the national average for degree courses
HYCC supports Young and Young Adult Carers and enables them to access opportunities to meet others in a similar situations and have a break from their caring role.