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Raising awareness

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Awareness

Young carers provide support and care and it's important that they in turn receive the necessary support.

Mental wellbeing

The jobs that young carers and young adult carers do can be incredibly stressful. Alongside tiredness and stress they can worry, become anxious, face depression and be overwhelmed.

Young carers can have lots of different feelings about caring.There will be times when they really enjoy helping their parent or family, but there will be other times when they struggle.

They can also be dealing with the possible loss of a parent or sibling in the future if the illness is terminal. Stepping in early makes a massive impact and can mean that they avoid or stop experiencing depression, self harming and drug and alcohol addiction.

You can do things to help such as:

  • be aware of them
  • have someone there if they need someone to talk to
  • make sure that they have access to a phone to phone home if they need to
  • make sure staff are aware of the issues young carers face
  • provide information about young carer groups
  • share information confidentially
  • have trips or breaks available
  • listen to them
  • connect them to young carers groups where they can socialise and get support from peers. 

Meeting their needs

It's important that young carers are respected and get the information they need to help keep them safe and healthy. 
Some young carers need training in things like:
  • lifting properly
  • first aid
  • cooking
  • budgeting
  • how to store and give medication
  • shopping
  • knowing what courses are going on when
  • making information easy and accessible
  • providing transport.

Young adult carers

Young adult carers are carers aged 18-25. Sometimes young carers aged 16 and 17 are also referred to as young adult carers, as they transition to adulthood. Many young adult carers have been caring for many years and are possibly concerned about moving away from home. Moving from child services to adult services can be a difficult transition and it's important that they are supported though this.

Other young adult carers will be taking on a caring role for the first time, and will need support as they try to balance their caring responsibilities with education and training, job-seeking / employment, and relationships. Many of the issues for young adult carers are the same as for young carers, and many of the tools in this toolkit can be adapted to meet their needs. But young adult carers also have distinct needs.

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