Getting extra help

Help, information and training is available to support young carers

young carers often feel very positive about their role

A young carer often does or at least helps with things that, in other households, are done by grown-ups. These might include household tasks, looking after little sisters or brothers, or helping with paperwork. Most young people learn to do these things gradually as they grow up, but a young carer may need to learn how to do lots of them in a very short time.

This can be difficult and, when things go wrong, it can be frustrating. But it's important to remember that nobody starts off being good at cooking, cleaning or doing paperwork – people learn these skills over time. Often, the person you are caring for can help you learn how to do these things. But when this isn't possible:

  • look for instructions
  • don't be embarrassed to ask an adult for help
  • try to find ways that work for you.

Getting some training

Local young carers groups can help by providing you with information, advice and support, and may be able to suggest how you can access training opportunities in areas such as:

  • safer lifting
  • basic first aid
  • cooking
  • art, video, creative things

Getting help at home

Support workers and young carers groups can help you think about your home arrangements, and try to see where you could get some help, either from relatives or other people. Depending on your situation, you may be able to get extra help in your home, such as special equipment or money to help your family pay for someone to provide extra care.

Here's how to find out about help at home:

  • Contact your local young carers team
  • Talk to them and other workers to find out what you need
  • You may be offered an assessment, which is when someone comes to your house, asks you what help you need and finds out how you can get it.

It can be difficult letting someone else take on some of the household tasks. You might worry about whether they are being done correctly, or if you're abandoning the person who needs care.

But remember that, by increasing the number of people who are helping, you are improving the care being given.

You should also know how to complain if anything goes wrong. A worker from your local Young Carers Team can help you with this.

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