There are an estimated 6.5 million carers in the UK, and of these over 400,000 are Young Carers aged 0 -24 according to the 2011 census. Increasingly a caring role is being taken by children as young as five to ten years old.
Without support, young carers’ educational achievement and development can be significantly affected, with little time to do homework, coursework, attend open days or socialise with friends. There can also be a significant impact on the young person’s mental health and wellbeing.
Changes to the Children and Families Bill entitle young carers to request a statutory assessment of their caring role from April 2015. This in turn will include an assessment of need for the person for whom they are caring. We are delighted to be involved with various local authorities in developing their workforce in preparation for the new requirements.
What to do if you think you might be a young carer or want to find out what support there is?
Family Action runs young carers services in Leeds, County Durham, Islington and Camden, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Windsor & Maidenhead, however there are many other young carers services and support available in each borough and council across the UK. To find out what your local area may offer and who can support please go your local council’s website or call them and ask .
Read Esme’s story, a young carer’s experience with Family Action