Young Carers - Waltham Forest

A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.

There are about 700,000 young carers in the UK, that’s about one in 12 secondary aged pupils.

What might a young carer do?

  • Practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping.
  • Physical care, such as helping someone out of bed. 
  • Emotional support, such as talking to someone who is distressed.
  • Personal care, such as helping someone dress.
  • Managing the family budget and collecting prescriptions.
  • Helping to give medicine. 
  • Helping someone communicate.
  • Looking after brothers and sisters.

Being a young carer can have a big impact on the things that are important to growing up

  • It can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence.
  • Many young carers struggle to juggle their education and caring which can cause pressure and stress.
  • In a survey, 39% said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role.
  • 26% have been bullied at school because of their caring role.
  • 1 in 20 miss school because of their caring role.

But young people can learn lots of useful skills by being a young carer.

Young carer and young adult carers in England have the right to information and to an assessment of the support they need from the council.

The Carers Trust have written a free guide which explains what those rights are. It also tells you what should happen when you talk to the council about being a young carer or young adult carer. Young carers and young adult carers gave us advice about what would make this a great resource for them and their peers.

It is written for all young carers and young adult carers, especially for those aged eight to twenty-five.

Download your copy >>

Where to find support

There are many organisations which offer specialist advice and support for young carers, below are links to some of these:

The Waltham Forest Young Carers Project supports children and young people aged 6 - 18 who give regular care to a parent, carer or sibling with a disability, mental health needs, drug or alcohol dependency, or other needs.
 
 


The Young Carers Project can help you with the following support:

  • access to clubs
  • positive activities
  • support in schools
  • school holiday activities
  • residential breaks
  • days out
  • whole family support

They can also look for, and get, specialist support from partner organisations if you’ve got other needs.
 
If you’ve got any questions, you can speak to the Young Carers team on: 020 8496 1530 or email: tyss.ref@walthamforest.gov.uk
 
If you’re ready to get support, download and complete a referral form. You can do this yourself, or ask a friend, family member, teacher or family support officer to do it on your behalf. Then send it to the email address above, and they will get in touch.

The Children's Society has lots of advice and resources for young carers on its website.

LawStuff gives free legal information to young people. LawStuff is run by Coram Children’s Legal Centre, which provides more detailed information both over the phone and online.

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner has an advice and assistance line They can help with questions you have about your rights, welfare and safety. Email: advice.team@childrenscommissioner.gsi.gov.uk. Freephone: 0800 528 0731 open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (the phone number is free from a landline, but may cost from a mobile.)

NHS Choices has lots of information and advice on their website, including getting help from teachers, social workers and your doctor.

You can talk to someone on Childline who may be able to give you advice and get you help. They won't tell anyone that you have called. It is FREE and especially designed for children: 0800 11 11. They also have lots of really useful resources on their website including the Childline App.

The Childline App "For Me". For Me was named and designed to blend in with other apps on your phone. That means that if anyone else sees your screen, they won't realise it's a Childline app. It's also totally secure. You can lock it with a pin number and keep all your information safe. You can swipe through the pages to get the advice you want, can have a 1-1 chat with a counsellor and join the on-line community which is a place for you to share your experiences, have fun and talk about anything you want.