Help 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, most commonly a parent or brother or sister, because that person has an illness or disability, mental health problem or problems with addiction to alcohol or drugs.
There are many children and young people in Hampshire who are young carers. You may look after a parent who is ill, disabled, or who is addicted to drugs or alcohol or you may assist the rest of the family when your parent isn’t able to, or give up your time to help your parents look after a disabled brother or sister.
The 2011 Census showed that there are 4109 young people in Hampshire in this situation (an increase of 809 since the 2001 census) and many may feel alone or isolated and unable to talk to anyone about their situation. Talking to another young person can often help.
Where can I get help?
There is help available for you as a young carer. There are independent support groups – called young carer projects - in all areas of Hampshire which 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.
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. You should have nothing to fear, both health and social services are there to help you as a family and to do everything they can to support you.
As a young person providing care to someone you love, you are entitled to have an assessment yourself to see whether any help can be given to you as a carer, called a carers assessment. The person you care for would also be entitled to an assessment from Adult Services to see if they need help from a paid carer to enable the person you care for to remain independent and reduce the impact of the caring responsibilities to you. An assessment may sound scary but if a social worker or health visitor or other professional visits your home to see the person you care for, talk to them first and 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 moral support if you wish.
If you require help from Hampshire County Council please call Children's Services on 0845 603 5620
There is lots of information to help young carers. Hampshire has many local projects and support groups:
- For projects in your area go to The Children's Society Young Carers website.
- Hampshire have 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.
Help For professionals
Hampshire County Council Children’s Services department have the strategic responsibility for Young Carers services in Hampshire, the Strategic Lead for Young Carers is Caroline Kelly, Commissioning Officer, who ensures we meet our statutory duties to young carers and their families, manages Young Carers projects, services and provision and chairs the Young Carers Steering Group for professional stakeholders.
Both Children’s Services and Adult Services within Hampshire County Council’s Social care departments have a responsibility to young carers and their families, the responsibilities will become duties in legislation in Spring 2014 within the Children and Families and Carers Bills. Hampshire have been working in a joint capacity for many years, implementing 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) in 2011 it 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, including:
- Identifying Young Carers
- Sharing of information
- Ascertain what needs to change
- Responding to safeguarding concerns
The Joint Working Guidance is currently under review and has began a consultation process, to find out more please contact Caroline Kelly, Strategic Lead for Young Carers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01962 847295.
Other useful documents include the updated Hampshire's strategy for Young Carers 2012-2015 928 kB.
Young Carers are entitled to a carers assessment from Adult Services to provide support to the young person in their caring role, the person they care for is also entitled to an assessment from Adult Social Care, to identify any un met needs which they may be entitled to a care package. It is important to recognise that all adults where there are young people (under the age of 18) are providing un paid care, will automatically be considered as critical or substantial within the Adult Services threshold.
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.
If you would like to get in touch to refer a young carer or someone they care for please call Children's Services on 0845 603 5620.
Support in schools and colleges
Hampshire County Council fund many Young Carers projects countywide through our grants program and also have a contract with The Children's Society to provide a targeted strategic service in Hart, Rushmoor, East Hants and Havant areas. Many young carers have lower attainment rates then those children who do not have any caring responsibilities and it is essential that these young people are recognised and given the support they need to succeed in their education.
The Projects and The Children's Society can assist your school or college from identifying young carers to setting up young carers groups / clubs. Please note this is subject to your location and the availability of the project.
If you are interested please get in touch by emailing Caroline Kelly, Strategic Lead for Young Carers at email@example.com or call 01962 847295.
Young Carers projects
The Children’s Society Include Project
Unit 4 Calford House
Winchester SO21 1WP
Andover Young Carers Project
Hampshire SP10 1QC
Telephone: 01264 333788
Eastleigh Young Carers project
16 Romsey Road
Hampshire SO50 9AL
Telephone: 02380 902465
Fareham and Gosport Young Carers
Kids Family centre
Hampshire PO16 0QS
Rushmoor and Hart Young Carers
Hart Voluntary Action
Hampshire GU51 4AE
Telephone: 01252 815652
Winchester District Young Carers Project
KAYAC, Winnall Valley Road
Winchester SO23 OLD
Romsey Young Carers
Unit 10, Romsey Industrial Estate
Hampshire SO51 0HR
Telephone: 01794 515908
Basingstoke Young Carers
Basingstoke Voluntary Services
White Hart Lane
Basingstoke RG21 4AF
Telephone: 01256 423892
New Forest Young Carers
65 Christchurch Road
Hampshire BH24 1DH
Telephone: 01425 482773
East Hampshire Young Carers
The Kings Arms
The Courtyard Building
Hampshire GU31 4DX
Havant Young Carers Off the Record
138 Purbrook Way
Havant PO9 3SU
Freefone: 0808 801 0724
Helpline: 02392 474724
Telephone: 02392 785999
Young Carers strategy
- if you require help from Hampshire County Council
- if you would like to get in touch to refer a young carer or someone they care for