What makes a young person a Young Carer?
Some children and young people provide regular and on-going practical care and emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, is disabled or misuses substances, including alcohol. This does not mean the everyday and occasional help around the home that many young people are often expected to give within families. The key feature of being a 'young carer' is that the caring responsibilities continues over time. When / if the level of care and responsibility becomes excessive or inappropriate it can impact negatively on a child or young persons' emotional or physical development and well-being, their educational achievement and life chances.
Young carers often:
- Help family members to get up, get washed, get dressed or help them with toileting and personal care
- Do lots of household chores like shopping, cleaning and cooking
- Stay in the house a lot to provide help, practical and emotional support as well as looking after younger brothers and sisters
- assist with lifting, dispensing medication, sorting household bills
These responsibilities can seriously affect young carers’ ability to participate fully in school/college and an age appropriate social life. They often have poor attendance, are regularly late for school and experience stress and fatigue, which has a knock on effect on their ability to keep up with school work.
Why are young carers bullied?
There may be a number of different reasons why young carers experience bullying, for example:
- They may been seen as isolated or different
- They may be teased or ostracised because of their family's circumstances or problems
- They may have untidy or unclean clothing or general appearance
- They may find it harder to make or sustain friendships so become less confident in social situations
- They may be withdrawn, depressed or more sensitive than their peers
Resources - Young Carers
The Carers Trust offer a wealth of information and advice for Young Carers and those working with them on the Young Carers section of the Carers Trust website.
Doncaster Young Carers Service supports Young Carers (now in-house within Learning and Opportunities Children and Young People). The Young Carer Service supports young carers to be recognised in their role and to have the same opportunities and life chances as other children and young people of a similar age. For information, advice and guidance please call: 01302 736099 or email: Young.Carers@doncaster.gov.uk
Watch this short video below showing James's story and how he coped with being bullied at school.