Northamptonshire Young Carers
A young carer is aged between 5yrs-18yrs. They take on the responsibility for helping to look after someone (usually a family member) who has a long-term illness or disability.
This could be a Physical Disability, Learning Difficulty, Mental Health Problem, Substance Misuse Issue or HIV/AIDS.
The young person may be helping to care for a sibling, parent or grandparent. They could be helping to care for more than one person eg a sibling with Autism and a parent with M.S.
Some Caring Tasks are more obvious to observe such as Housework, Shopping, Cooking, Helping with Communication, Fetching and Carrying, Contacting Medical Services etc
An Emotional Caring role might be significant but not as easily noted. In this role the young person may be missing school to stay at home with the person who is ill. They may say they are unwell to be able to do so. They need to contact home more than is usual, they are perhaps not accepting invites for social contact with peers.
The Young Carers Service will assess a family on an individual basis accepting of the fact that one young person’s role may have more impact depending on age and other family circumstances.
The Young Carers Service offers 1-1 Support, Social Activities, Groups and general Advocacy and Family Support.
In some parts of the County (particularly Northampton) there is a significant waiting list although some situations would be considered a priority and an offer of support will be made more quickly.
Any referral of a young person under 18yrs needs to have the permission of the Parent/Guardian.
Anyone can refer (including the family themselves) but it is worth speaking to the team before a referral is made if unsure of eligibility to avoid disappointment.
NB It is important to differentiate between young people who are affected by the impact of living with someone who has an illness and those who are actually in a caring role.
The Young Carers Service is a service for those who are helping to care.
We are a voluntary organisation and registered charity and are a Carers Trust Network Partner.
We Offer many streams of support and have workers based all over the County including;
Youth clubs and trips out to give Young Carers a break and help them to make friends with other Young People who understand what caring is like.
Please take a look at our other pages to find out more about what we offer.