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What makes a young person a Young Carer?

Some children and young people provide regular and on-going care and emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, is disabled or misuses substances, including alcohol. This does not mean the everyday and occasional help around the home that many young people are often expected to give within families. The key feature of being a 'young carer' is that the caring responsibilities continues over time and can make a young carer vulnerable, when the level of care and their responsibility to the person they look after, becomes excessive or inappropriate and risks impacting on emotional or physical wellbeing, educational achievement and life chances.

Young carers often:

  • Help family members to get up, get washed, get dressed or help them with toileting.
  • Do lots of household chores like shopping, cleaning, cooking.
  • Stay in the house a lot to provide emotional support. Also looking after brothers and sisters.
  • Help with lifting, dispensing medication, sorting household bills.

This can seriously affect young carers ability to participate fully in school/college life. They often experience poor attendance or constantly being late for school stress and fatigue and an inability to keep up with school work.

Why are young carers bullied?

There may be a number of different reasons why young carers may experience bullying, for example:

  • They may been seen as isolated or different
  • They may be teased or ostracised because of their family's circumstances or problems
  • They may have untidy or unclean clothing or general appearance
  • They may find it harder to make or sustain friendships and so become less confident in social situations
  • They may be withdrawn, depressed or over sensitive

Watch this short video showing James's story and how he coped with being bullied at school. You can also check out www.youngcarers.net for more help and advice.

What support is there for young carers in Leicestershire?

If you want to talk to us about how your life is affected by looking after someone else, you can ring Children's Social Care Central Duty Desk on 0116 305 0005 or email: childrensduty@leics.gov.uk

Barnardos Carefree help young carers in Leicestershire. www.barnardos.org.uk/carefree. Email carefree@barnardos.org.uk

VASL Young Carers Activity Group in Market Harborough. Telephone 0845 689 9510. Email hcurrington@vasl.org.uk

Want to talk to other young carers online? Follow the link "Who can help me?" on www.youngcarers.net

Resources - Young Carers

Websites

The Carers Trust offer a wealth of information and advice for Young Carers and those working with them.

As well as the Young Carers section of the Carers Trust website (aimed more at professionals/adults) they have set up youngcarers.net with the aim of helping and supporting Carers under the age of 19.

They have also produced a resource for schools on how to support Young Carers which contains a specific chapter on bullying.

See these other useful websites

  • Anti-Bullying Alliance Network
    National Children's Bureau
    NSPCC
    Healthy Schools
    The Jitty