Young carers and young adult carers
A young carer is a child or young person whose life is affected by looking after someone with a disability or a long term illness, often taking on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.
A young carer is someone under 18 who regularly helps to look after someone who has:
- a long-term illness
- a learning disability
- a physical disability
- mental health difficulties
- problems from mis-using drugs or alcohol.
The person they care for could be their:
- mum or dad
- brother or sister
- grandparent or other relative.
The support a young carer provides could include:
- housework, cooking and shopping
- looking after younger brothers and sisters
- helping someone to get washed and dressed
- making sure the person they care for is safe
- talking to other agencies (for example, the doctor) about the person they care for
- giving medication
- giving emotional support.
It's not always easy being a young carer. Some of the problems young carers might face are:
- difficulties with school and doing homework
- not enough time to see friends
- worrying about the person they care for
- feeling different from others
- other people not understanding what it's like being a young carer.
Young adult carers
Young adult carers are carers between 16 and 25 years old. They may be juggling their caring responsibilities with:
- the demands of further or higher education;
- looking for work or navigating the benefits system;
- starting their working lives;
- a serious emotional relationship;
- thinking about leaving home.
Social Services may be able to help young carers, either by helping you get the support you need, or by providing support for the person you look after.
If you get in touch with Social Services, a social worker may have a chat with you about what difficulties you have because of your caring role and what sort of help you would like. Social workers know that it's important for families to stay together and help each other and this is what we'll try to help you with, so that you can carry on being a young carer, if you want to, but also have time for yourself too. Sometimes social workers may not give you the help you need directly but will put you in touch with other people or organisations who can help.
You don't have to contact Social Services yourself. There are other people who can do this for you. It could be someone from the Young Carers Service, someone from your school or anyone else you trust.
Ask for Social Services support for yourself as a young carer Swansea Single Point of Contact (SPOC)
To ask about help or support for an adult you are caring for contact the Common Access Point for Health and Social Care.