Who is a young carer?
A young carer is someone under 18 years old who provides (or intends to provide) care for another person. This can be caring for a family member or friend of the family. They may be physically or mentally ill, frail or elderly, disabled, or misuse alcohol or drugs.
- 55% of young carers are caring for a parent
- 25% of young carers are caring for a sibling
- 57% of young carers are providing emotional care
- 78% of young carers are undertaking practical tasks such as cooking and cleaning.
Who provides support for young carers in Devon?
Devon County Council commissions Devon Carers to assess and support the needs of young carers aged up to 18 years old in Devon.
A young carer, or their family, can ask Devon Carers for help directly, or where consent has been given another professional or practitioner can make a referral to the service on behalf of a young person and their family.
Devon Carers will then undertake an assessment of the young carer’s needs and the support available to meet their needs. The support offered aims to help young carers to have the same life opportunities as their peers, feel supported at school or college, have good physical and emotional health, access and achieve their potential in education and training, have their voices heard and be prepared for adulthood and independence.
You can contact Devon Carers Young Carers service via their website or by telephone 03456 434 435. There’s also lots of information in the Young Carers service leaflet.
How is support provided?
The Devon Carers Young Carers Support Service is delivered by 4 locality teams – North Devon, Exeter, South and West Devon, Mid and East Devon. There are lead practitioners and support workers for each area and a central ‘hub’ of specialist workers who can advise their colleagues.
Support that may be accessed through the Young Carers Service following assessment
Young carers can access information and self-help through a range of sources that is both age appropriate and personalised. Young carers may receive support from the service enabling them to access other services, these may be within the local community. There are also opportunities to participate within the Young Carers’ Council co-ordinated by Devon Carers.
For young carers with greater support needs due to the impact of the caring role being undertaken. Young carers will be supported through trips and activities, support groups and mentoring and buddying opportunities. This will help young carers to have a break from caring roles and responsibilities, improve health and wellbeing and help achieve the best outcomes, at school for instance.
Getting more help
For young carers with the most complex needs, for whom their caring role is having a profound impact on them and their life. Support is likely to include multi-agency support being co-ordinated through an Early Help Support Plan for the young carer and their families. This will help to ensure the right help is being received at the right time. Young carers who are assessed to be in greatest need will be offered one-to-one support from the Young Carers service. Support will be specific to each young carer and tailored to their individual needs.
Young carers will also be supported by the service to help them prepare for adulthood and to manage periods of change or transition in their lives for instance when moving from primary to secondary school for instance or where it is likely they will continue with caring roles and responsibilities from 18 years onwards.
More information about young carers