Young Carers

Who is a young carer?

A young carer is a young person (up-to the age of 18) whose life is affected by providing care to a family member.  The person receiving care is often a parent, but can be a sibling, grandparent or other relative who is disabled, has some chronic illness, mental health problem or other condition connected with a need for care, support or supervision. 

Helping out around the house is a normal part of growing up, but young carers regularly carry out significant or substantial caring tasks, usually associated with an adult, and assume an inappropriate level of caring which would have an adverse impact on their development and life chances.

Many young carers report that caring gives them feelings of maturity and a sense of closeness to both parents and family; they also value their responsibilities and consider them to be a source of practical life skills. Young carers are often happy to perform their role not seeing it as something more time-consuming or different.

However, many young carers also report negative aspects including an impact on their education (i.e. attendance, punctuality, concentration); impact on psychological health (i.e. stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and depression); impact on social development and exclusion (i.e. isolation from their peers, time to socialise and bullying); impact on physical health (i.e. effects from lifting a disabled parent).

What services are provided for young carers?

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has a statutory responsibility to carry out young carers’ assessments, if requested, in accordance with the Children’s Act 1989.

An assessment is a way of finding out what specific needs that young person has as a carer, and how these could be best met. The assessment may not result in direct action, but evidence gained from the assessment process can be used to highlight the needs of young carer and make a case for future service provision.

The assessment is carried out by the young carers co-ordinator and will take place in the school. The aim of an assessment is to empower and support young carers by identifying any problems, valuing their experiences, understanding and recognising the need for physical, emotional well-being, social and educational support.

How can you ask for help?

If you need our help, please get in touch with us on: 01782 235422 on weekdays between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Who else can help?

North Staffs Carers Association can give young carers advice and information and also run groups where you can meet other young carers.