The Care Act 2014 outlines the requirements that the local authorities need to deliver to support young carers and their families.
Who is a young carer?
A child or young person under the age 18 who provides regular and ongoing care and emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally disabled or misuses substances.
What does a young carer do?
Young carers are often responsible for:
- practical tasks, such as shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing, collecting prescriptions
- personal care, helping with bathing, dressing and help with taking medication
- emotional support, including talking to someone who is distressed, helping someone to communicate
- looking after younger siblings
- managing the family budget
Some young carers undertake high levels of care; others carry out low levels of care frequently. Either can impact heavily on a child or young person. Usually children and young people don’t want to stop their caring role, but would welcome some extra help. It’s important that we provide support to help them balance their role with their rights to be children or young people.
The Children’s Society report shows that 1 in 12 young carers spend more than 15 hours a week looking after a parent or sibling. Find out more about the report's findings.