What is a young carer?
A young carer is a child or young person who cares for, or is affected by someone else at home – usually a parent or sibling.
The person they care for may suffer from;
- A disability/disabilities
- Long term illness
- Mental health problems
- Problems with drugs and/or alcohol
The responsibility of being a young carer can affect a young person;
- Emotionally – Putting other people’s needs first, being worried, anxious or stressed. Feelings of guilt, anger, being trapped, isolated and being misunderstood
- Physically – Suffering from pains or strains from heavy lifting or helping someone to wash or dress
- Socially – Not able to meet up with friends regularly or have friends over the home. Feeling isolated and lacking confidence and suffering from self-esteem. Young carers may also be a possible target for being bullied.
- Educationally – Difficulties concentrating in class, feeling tired, worried with no time to do homework. Missing school because you are worried or caring for someone at home.
- Financially – Low family income. Not having enough money for things.
Most young carers often go unnoticed or unrecognised.
It is quite common for family members to keep the fact that someone is ill a secret from people outside the home for fear that they may be separated.
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