A young carer is a person under the age of 18 years who provides care for another person. This is most commonly a parent or brother or sister, with an illness or disability, mental health problem or addiction to alcohol or drugs.
The 2011 Census showed that there are 4109 young carers in Hampshire (an increase of 809 since the 2001 census). Many may feel alone or isolated and unable to talk to anyone about their situation. Talking to another young person can often help.
The Young Carers Strategy 2017 to 2020 is now live. It sets out Hampshire County Council’s vision for developing services for Young Carers with a primary focus on improving identification and support to Young Carers in partnership with the Hampshire Young Carers Alliance. It also links in with the Adult Services new Carers Strategy which is also due to be published imminently.
Where you can get help
Help for you:
As a young person providing care to someone you love, you are entitled to have a carers assessment yourself to see whether any help can be given to you. Many families where someone is disabled or ill will be worried that contact with the authorities might lead to interference, or worse still, being told what they can and cannot do. Both health and social services are there to help you as a family and to do everything they can to support you.
If a social worker or health visitor or other professional visits your home to see the person you care for, tell them you would like an assessment of your own needs. They will then speak to the right people and arrange for an assessment to happen. You can take a friend or other family member or adult with you for support.
Help for the person you care for:
The person you care for would also be entitled to an assessment from Adult Services. This is to see if they need help from a paid carer. This will enable them to remain independent and reduce the impact of the caring responsibilities to you. They are also entitled to an assessment from Adult Social Care, to identify any un-met needs and may be entitled to a care package.
All adults where a young people (under the age of 18) provides un-paid care, will automatically be considered as critical or substantial within the Adult Services threshold.
There are independent support groups – called young carer projects – in all areas of Hampshire. They provide various levels of help, advice and information.
Some have club nights and residential where you can meet other children and young people like yourself who are caring for someone in their family. Most young carers projects can also help you in your school or college. Please ask a teacher at school to see how you can get help. Schools can identify young carers and set up young carers groups / clubs. This is subject to your location and the availability of the project.
For projects in your area go to The Children’s Society Young Carers website.
Hampshire has a young carers’ forum where you can meet other young carers and discuss issues and topics online.
Hampshire Young Carers Alliance (HYCA)
HYCA aims to share and deliver good working practice in line with Every Child Matters and support young people with significant caring responsibilities and strengthen relationships with other agencies by means of a single county-wide voice.
To share and work jointly on good practice, to prevent isolation of individual projects and help resolve common difficulties and to enhance service delivery
To share and work jointly on good practice, to prevent isolation of individual projects and help resolve common difficulties and to enhance service delivery.
To collectively advocate and campaign for Young Carer’s issues within Hampshire.
To promote the whole family and project ethos to supporting young people and their families.
A focal point for young carer’s issues and development in Hampshire.
To provide a central resource for dissemination of information and good practice.
Please visit hyca.org.uk