Are you a Young Carer?
A Young Carer is someone under the age of 18 who has caring responsibilities for a family member at home.
They may have:
- A serious or long-term illness
- A physical disability
- A mental health problem
- Problems with drugs or alcohol
- A learning disability
- Difficulties in coping with being a parent or carer
Young Carers may carry out tasks and household jobs like:
- Preparing and cooking food
- Helping with personal care and hygiene
- Giving medication
- Communicating on someone’s behalf
- Ensuring someone’s safety
- Providing emotional support
- Paying bills
If you are a Young Carer, doing some of these tasks might make it hard for you to come to school or affect your ability to focus and concentrate to the best of their ability when you are here.
- Be regularly late for school or have poor attendance
- Often seem tired, withdrawn or preoccupied
- Have difficulty in joining in activities outside of school hours (e.g. after school clubs or residential visits)
- Be a victim of bullying or have difficulties forming friendships
- Be under-achieving academically
- Not hand in homework
- Appear anxious and worried
- Display emotional or behavioural problems
- Have physical problems such as back pain from lifting adults
As a Young Carer, you might also:
- find that you can’t go out with your friends
- be confused or angry about the situation at home
- have problems at school because of your responsibilities at home
- feel alone and unable to talk to anyone about your situation
- need help with the caring
In School Support
At Ferndale, we want to ensure all Young Carers are offered support. We can also make a referral to Sandwell Young Carers, which means they will access additional support.
We seek to raise awareness of this issue so that any child acting as Young Carers can be identified and supported. Pupils already identified as Young Carers know that they can speak to any member of staff if they feel they need extra support.
There is a lot of information that might help you if you are a young carer. There are also a lot of people who can help you. Sometimes you might not know where to get help, so here are a few suggestions:
- Speak to your doctor
- Speak to someone at your school
- Speak to a good friend who you trust
- You may want to find out about the local young carers’ service that offers young carers breaks, activities and someone to talk to. Sandwell Young Carers can be found here or can be contacted 0121 525 8002.
- The Carers Trust has a website where you can chat to other young carers, for advice, information and support. Make sure you look at “Who Can Help Me?” Go online at youngcarers.net
- Go to Carers Direct nhs.uk/carersdirect/Pages/CarersDirectHome.aspx
- Or call Carers Direct on 0808 802 0202 (Free, confidential information and advice for carers. Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines.
For further information and support have a look at the young carers survival guide