Young Carers

A young carer is a child or young person under 18 years of age who looks after or helps an adult family member who is ill, frail or disabled, this could be a parent or an older brother or sister like Francesca in the video above.

Balancing being a carer and going to school

You may find that you have more responsibilities around the house than other people your age, and this can feel stressful or overwhelming at times. Sometimes you may feel under pressure to take time off school or college to help around the house, or may not have time to go out with your friends, do homework, or socialise like other people your age.

This video of Victoria

and of Stephen

show how this is not uncommon for young carers.

There are people who can help

Many young carers find it difficult to talk about being a carer. We call them undercover heroes because of the important, but often, unseen role they take on.

Young carers tend to worry that people will think they aren't coping, or that their family will be split up if they don't carry on with their caring role. But it's important to understand there are organisations there to help and support you, so you can balance your caring responsibilities with your personal life and not miss out on things.

For more information talk to a teacher in school or contact the Access and Referral Hub on 0300 300 8585.

Young Carers Assessment

A young carers assessment will consider the impact the care and support a young carer provides is having on their own wellbeing.

It will also look at other aspects of their life, like education and seeing friends, and discuss what support would help them.

The local council will assess any carer who requests one or who appears to need support. It is a discussion between the carer and a trained member of council staff.

There is a requirement for the local authority to take into account the impact caring duties are having on a young person. Being a young carer can affect your physical and emotional health and impact on education or training.

The assessment will look at whether it is appropriate for the young carer to provide care for the person they care for. Inappropriate or excessive care is defined as anything which is likely to have an impact on the child’s health, wellbeing or education, or which is unsuitable for a particular child.

Who is involved in the assessment?

When conducting a young carer’s needs assessment, the local authority must involve:

  • The young carer.
  • The young carer’s parents.
  • Any person whom the young carer or their parents request be involved.

What will happen during the assessment?

During the assessment the local authority will determine the following:

  • The amount, nature and type of care which the young person provides.
  • The extent to which this care is relied upon by the family to maintain the well-being of the person cared for.
  • Whether the care which the young carer provides impacts upon the young carer’s well-being, education and development.
  • Whether any of the tasks which the young carer performs when providing care are excessive or inappropriate for the young carer to perform, having regard to all the circumstances, and in particular the carer’s age, sex, wishes and feelings.
  • Whether any of the young carer’s needs for support could be prevented by providing services to the person cared for, or another member of the young carer’s family.
  • What the young carer’s needs for support would be likely to be if the carer were relieved of part, or all of the tasks the young carer performs.

How to get a young carers assessment

Carers in Bedfordshire can carry out or arrange the young carers assessment, on behalf of the local authority for young carers who

  • are registered with us and
  • live in Bedford Borough or
  • live in Central Bedfordshire