Drawn by Kylie, age 7 Are you under 18 and looking after someone in your family who is ill or disabled? This may be a parent, a brother or sister or a grandparent. Maybe you help by staying at home a lot to be there for them, helping them get washed or dressed, perhaps translating and interpreting for them, or doing lots of cleaning, shopping and cooking.
If this sounds like you, then you are a young carer. It may seem a strange way to describe yourself, because looking after someone in your family may feel like a natural role. But being a carer means you may have the right to help and support to make life easier.
Looking after someone can be stressful
It can be stressful as well as hard work looking after someone, even when you love them. And it can make it harder to keep up with things at school or to find time for yourself to relax, have fun or see your friends.
Help from the council
As a young carer you are entitled to get help and support. The council will not be looking to stop from you from supporting the person you look after, nor to separate you from that person. They will ask you what sort of support you would like to make your life and your caring role easier.
Support is available from the Early Help Teams in Family Services in the relevant borough. They can provide young carers with:
- An assessment of their needs
- One to one support for young carers with a high level of need
- Advice to support young carers in their caring role
- Information about other support services and activities they engage in
You can contact the council directly. Or, if you prefer, you can ask someone you know to contact them for you - maybe a friend or relative, a teacher, or your family doctor. Don't be afraid to ask - it is important to get the help you are entitled to.
Please contact Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea's Early Help for Families Team via email@example.com or 020 7598 4601 / 020 7361 4129 for more information.
Family Hub - The Family Hub is facilitating a fortnightly virtual group for Young Carers where you can join in fun activities or discussions. If you are a Young Carer and would like to join the group please feel free to contact the Early Help Service on 020 7598 4608 or 020 7361 4129, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Friends - a charity offering long-term practical and emotional support to disadvantaged families with a child under the age of 16 years through befriending and mentoring services. The support focuses on the parent(s), child/ren, or the whole family.
Insight KC - a free, friendly and confidential support service for young people who are living or affected by drug or alcohol issues. Open to young people in Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, or Westminster.
Young Carers Personal Budget Programme - This personal budget is aimed at raising the health and wellbeing of young carers. The programme offers payment of £150.00 for a chosen physical activity and support is given to look at which activities may be the most beneficial like dance classes, a gym membership, football, horse riding or others.
Sibs: support for siblings - Sibs is a registered charity offering support for sibling young carers 7 -17 year old.