Support for young carers and their families

Support for young carers and their families

Targeted support for young carers and families formed part of the vision of the National Strategy for Carers. The value of dedicated support for young carers cannot be underestimated.

Key Points: 

  • Young carers services - what do they offer?
  • Online support for young carers
  • Whole family support
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Young carers and families have consistently stated how they value targeted support which recognises and understands their distinct needs.

Not all young carers will wish to access targeted support and for many mainstream or universal activities will meet their needs. Strong links between both targeted and universal support services will mean that young carers have support that meets their needs and circumstances and ensure that any issues are identified early. 

Young carers services - what do they offer?

Young carer’s services deliver a wide range of interventions in their local area including the provision of clubs, respite activities and one-to-one support. Some services will also offer befriending or mentoring schemes, skills programmes, smaller groups where young carers with similar caring roles can support each other and specific support programmes.

Providing transport to activities is a big part of a young carers’ service as few families have transport of their own.

Online support for young carers

Online support is a great alternative to a physical support group which can particularly meet the needs of hidden young carers who are unable to access local services or who do not wish to do so.

It may not provide all the benefits of a physical support group where young carers can meet peers in similar circumstances, however for young adult carers particularly and young carers from rural locations, it can reduce the isolation experienced by young people, provides information and connects them with others and other services when appropriate.

Supporting the health and wellbeing of young carers 

Dedicated support for young carers can help to protect the health and wellbeing of young carers. Young carers often say that having someone to talk to, to share their concerns with such as a young carers’ support worker, is hugely important.

Young carers also often say that peer support online or within a young carers’ service for example, where they can relax, be themselves and take part in activities is vital. For others, dedicated emotional support from specialist services may be appropriate.

Respite activities and sports are also important for young carers. Providing opportunities where young carers can simply be young people and have fun, will help reduce social isolation and protect their health and wellbeing.

Find out more about protecting the health and wellbeing of young carers.

Further information

Support for young carers and their families – supporting the family