Support to young carers is provided through Essex County Council Youth Service’s new Key Worker Service and local voluntary service providers
Who is a young carer?
A young carer is anyone who is under the age of 18, and who looks after a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled, or misuses substances. This could be a parent, grandparent, brother, or sister.
A young carer may be carrying out tasks such as household chores such as washing, cooking, and cleaning on behalf of the whole family. They may provide personal or nursing care like giving medication, changing dressings, assisting with mobility, or intimate care such as washing, dressing, assisting with toilet requirements, or giving emotional support. This can feel stressful or overwhelming at times. Sometimes you may feel under pressure to take time off school to help around the house, or may not have time to go out with your friends, do homework, or play.
Why support young carers?
Many young carers find it difficult to talk about being a carer. They 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 health and social care charities and organisations who can help and support you, so you can balance your responsibilities with your personal life, and not miss out on things.
How to refer a young carer
Referrals to the service can be made online or emailing email@example.com or by phoning 0333 0322 800.
Additional services for young and young adult carers are available throughout Essex.
Other information and advice
Carers UK is a charity set up to help the millions of people who look after an older, disabled, or seriously ill family member or friend.
Carers Trust has information about local support, money, and benefits.
Healthwatch Essex has some advice young carers might find useful, in their guide to health and well-being for young people as well as a list of useful contacts.
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