Who is a young carer?
A young carer is a person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person. This can relate to care for a family member or friend of the family who is physically or mentally ill, frail elderly, disabled or misuses alcohol/ substances.
What do we know about young carers?
We know that:
- 55% of young carers are caring for a parent
- 25% of young carers are caring for a sibling
- 57% of young carers are providing emotional care
- 78% of young carers are undertaking practical tasks such as cooking and cleaning.
How do you know if you are a young carer and who provides support for young carers in Devon?
Devon County Council commissions a service to assess and support the needs of young carers aged up to 18 years in Devon. Contact and/or a referral can be made to the service directly or where consent has been given another professional or practitioner can make a referral to the service on behalf of a young person and their family. Devon Carers will then undertake an assessment of young carer’s needs and support available to meet needs. Support offered aims to help young carers to have the same life opportunities as their peers, feel supported at school/college, have good physical and emotional health, access and achieve their potential in education and training, have their voices heard and be prepared for adulthood and independence.
Contact can be made with the Young Carers Service by accessing their website or by telephone using the helpline:- 03456 434 435. A leaflet for the Young Carers Service is also available here.
How is the service delivered?
The Young Carers Support Service will be delivered by one of 4 teams. One team is located in each of the following localities across Devon: North Devon, Exeter, South and West Devon, Mid and East Devon. There are lead practitioners and support workers for each area and a central ‘hub’ of specialist workers who can advise their colleagues.
Support that may be accessed through the Young Carers Service following assessment
Young carers can access information and self-help through a range of sources that is both age appropriate and personalised. Young carers may receive support from the service enabling them to access other services, these may be within the local community. There are also opportunities to participate within the Young Carers’ Council co-ordinated by Devon Carers.
For young carers with greater support needs due to the impact of the caring role being undertaken. Young carers will be supported through trips and activities, support groups and mentoring and buddying opportunities. This will help young carers to have a break from caring roles and responsibilities, improve health and wellbeing and help achieve the best outcomes, at school for instance.
Getting more help
For young carers with the most complex needs, for whom their caring role is having a profound impact on them and their life. Support is likely to include multi-agency support being co-ordinated through an Early Help Support Plan for the young carer and their families. This will help to ensure the right help is being received at the right time. Young carers are also likely to receive face to face support for the Young Carers Service.
Young carers will also be supported by the service to help them prepare for adulthood and to manage periods of change or transition in their lives for instance when moving from primary to secondary school for instance or where it is likely they will continue with caring roles and responsibilities from 18 years onwards.
For more information about young carers
For information about adult carers and adult carer services