Young carers’ services provide a level of expertise in supporting young carers that universal services, by virtue of being universal, cannot provide.
Many are able to be flexible and creative in how they deliver services. By championing the needs of young carers and families, many local services have also driven forward strategic change and workforce development in local areas.
Young carer services offer a range of early intervention and prevention support to young people with caring responsibilities aimed at:
- identifying and supporting young carers early
- reducing inappropriate or excessive caring roles
- improving young carers physical, mental and emotional health
- reducing barriers to accessing and sustaining education, training and employment
- Improving young carers’ life chances and helping them reach their potential.
Young carer services range in size and services offered, with funding coming from a range of sources including local authorities and voluntary sector grants.
Many young carer’s services have now also adopted a whole family approach. Many are now assessing and responding to the needs of the whole family by directly supporting families or by actively coordinating the support of other services.
Different types of activities offered include
- activities and breaks
- peer and community support, including young carers groups and peer mentoring schemes
- information, advice and guidance, including 1:1 support and age appropriate information
- emotional support
- brokerage and support planning
- training in subjects such as health and safety, wellbeing and life skills
- supporting families and young carers to apply for appropriate benefits
- emergency planning support
- whole family support
- raising awareness and upskilling the workforce, including engagement with education, health and social care professionals
- Young carers informing service development.
Where are young carer services located?
The Children's Society website has a map of young carers projects around the UK. Use the postcode, address or county search to zoom in to find local projects.