Hampshire has many local projects and support groups for young carers
- What is a young carer
A young carer is a person under the age of 18 years who provides care for another person. This is most commonly a parent or brother or sister, with an illness or disability, mental health problem or addiction to alcohol or drugs.
The 2011 Census showed that there are 4109 young carers in Hampshire (an increase of 809 since the 2001 census). Many may feel alone or isolated and unable to talk to anyone about their situation. Talking to another young person can often help.
The Young Carers Strategy 2017 to 2020 is now live. It sets out the County Council’s vision for developing services for Young Carers over the next 3 years with a primary focus on improving identification and support to Young Carers in partnership with the Hampshire Young Carers Alliance. It also links in with the Adult Services new Carers Strategy which is also due to be published imminently.
- Where you can get help
Help for you
As a young person providing care to someone you love, you are entitled to have a carers assessment yourself to see whether any help can be given to you. Many families where someone is disabled or ill will be worried that contact with the authorities might lead to interference, or worse still, being told what they can and cannot do. Both health and social services are there to help you as a family and to do everything they can to support you.
If a social worker or health visitor or other professional visits your home to see the person you care for, tell them you would like an assessment of your own needs. They will then speak to the right people and arrange for an assessment to happen. You can take a friend or other family member or adult with you for support.
Help for the person you care for
The person you care for would also be entitled to an assessment from Adult Services. This is to see if they need help from a paid carer. This will enable them to remain independent and reduce the impact of the caring responsibilities to you. They are also entitled to an assessment from Adult Social Care, to identify any un-met needs and may be entitled to a care package.
All adults where a young people (under the age of 18) provides un-paid care, will automatically be considered as critical or substantial within the Adult Services threshold.
- Support groups
There are independent support groups – called young carer projects - in all areas of Hampshire. They provide various levels of help, advice and information.
Some have club nights and residentials where you can meet other children and young people like yourself who are caring for someone in their family. Most young carers projects can also help you in your school or college. Please ask a teacher at school to see how you can get help. Schools can identify young carers and set up young carers groups / clubs. This is subject to your location and the availability of the project.
For projects in your area go to The Children's Society Young Carers website.
Hampshire has a young carers forum where you can meet other young carers and discuss issues and topics online.
Find a project near you at the Hampshire Young Carers Alliance (HYCA).As a young carer you should always have your views taken into consideration when someone assesses the needs of the person you care for.
Other sources of help:
- Professionals working with young carers
Hampshire County Council Children’s Services Department has the strategic responsibility for young carers’ services in Hampshire. This ensures we meet our statutory duties to young carers and their families. Children’s Services and Adult Social Care work in a joint capacity to implement the Hampshire Practice Guidance for Adult and Children’s Services in Supporting Young Carers within a Whole Family working model. (The Memorandum of Understanding / The Joint Working Guidance).This has been a useful guide for professionals to understand how both departments need to respond to the needs of young carers and the people they care for. This includes:
- identifying young carers
- sharing of information
- ascertain what needs to change
- responding to safeguarding concerns
Young carers who are at risk or have safeguarding concerns will need to be referred to Children’s Services immediately to be assessed by a practitioner.
Support in schools and colleges
Hampshire County Council fund many Young Carers projects countywide through our grants program. Many young carers have lower attainment rates then those children who do not have any caring responsibilities. It is essential that these young people are recognised and given the support they need to succeed in their education.
If you require help from Hampshire County Council, or if you would like to get in touch to refer a young carer or someone they care for:
Contact Children's Services
Phone 0300 555 1384