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Help for young carers

A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who helps look after a relative who has a condition, such as a disability, illness, mental health condition, or a drug or alcohol problem.

Most young carers look after one of their parents, or care for a brother or sister. They do extra jobs in and around the home, such as:

  • cooking
  • cleaning
  • helping someone to get dressed and move around

Along with doing things to help, they may also be giving emotional support, too.

Some people start caring at a very young age and don't really realise they are carers. Other young people become carers overnight.

Young carers shouldn't be spending a lot of their time caring for someone, as this can get in the way of them doing well at school or taking part in the same kind of things as other children or young people.

It's important young carers decide how much and what type of care they are willing or able to give, or whether they should be a carer at all.

We want to ensure that people with care needs do not have to rely on young people to care for them. It's important for social services to make sure the whole family feels supported, and young carers feel comfortable with their role.

Young carers' rights

Walsall Council has a responsibility to:

  • carry out a young carer’s needs assessment and repeat on request if circumstances change
  • decide whether it is appropriate for a young person to care for someone else – this includes asking if they want to be a carer
  • look at their education, training, leisure opportunities and their views about the future
  • consider the young carer's wishes, and involve them, their parents and anyone else they want to have included

We will also provide everyone with a written record of the assessment that outlines:

  • if the young carer needs support
  • what services could support them and if they are available
  • what young carers and their parents can do if they disagree with the assessment

Provided that the young carer and the person they care for agree, the local authority can assess both of their needs at the same time.

Young carer’s assessments

Young carers who are 16 or over and are not in full-time education might be able to receive help with finding work and managing their family’s finances. This can be done through accessing benefits like the Carer’s Allowance.

Young carer’s assessments are the best place to find out about what help is available. You can request an assessment by completing this Early Help referral form.

You can also get support by contacting Youth Support Services. For further information please contact us.

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