Young Carers

Northamptonshire Young Carers Service

Northamptonshire Young Carers Service exists to help promote the health and wellbeing of young carers and their families.

We will work to make sure young carers are identified and recognised within our local community and help to prevent them taking on more responsibility than they should or could cope with. We aim to help them reduce feelings of isolation. We understand that young carers are individuals in individual families and have different needs.  We will allow young carers and their families a say in what our support will be with a focus on improving confidence and helping prevent the type of problems that young carer families may face.

We aim to promote an understanding of the balance needed between being a Carer and having an opportunity to have hopes and dreams that will in turn help young carers to fulfil their individual potential.

About Northamptonshire Young Carers Service

A young carer is aged between 5yrs-17yrs.  A young adult carer is aged between 18yrs-25yrs.  They take on responsibility for helping to look after someone (usually a family member) who has a long-term illness or disability.  This could include a physical disability, learning disability, mental health problem or substance misuse issue.

After a referral to the Young Carers Service a Young Carer Worker will initially carryout a Needs Assessment which looks at what caring activities a young person may be undertaking, the appropriateness of these activities, and the impact the caring role may be having on them.  This assessment takes into consideration the voice of the parent and the voice of the young person.  The young person may also want us to talk to other adults in their lives.  Following this, a support plan will be put together with actions and recommendations to support the young carer and the family.  This could include information, advice, guidance, referrals to other agencies for the young carer of the cared-for person, or access to support within the service.

All assessments, support plans, and support offered are individual to the family and their situation.
The Young Carers Service can offer 1-1 support, social activities, targeted groups, advocacy and family support (such as signposting to relevant agencies) where appropriate. See 'Our Support' Page for more information.

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 primarily a service for those who have a necessary caring responsibility, but we can still offer information, advice and guidance to families and professionals. Click Image for Downloadable PDF of our Young Carer - Young Adult Carer Service Flyer

Being a Young Carer

As a Young Carer you will be helping with chores around the house to keep the house manageable for the person you care for such as fetching and carrying.  Some of you will be preparing food and drinks, sorting out medication, or looking after younger brothers and sisters.  A lot of you will be providing personal and private care for the person you look after.  Most of you will be keeping your eyes and ears open to make sure the person you care for is well and safe, keeping them company, spending more time with them than your friends might be with their family members.  A large number of young carers will feel responsible for the emotional wellbeing of the person they care for. 

We know that Young Carers can often feel very different to their friends.  You may be embarrassed, upset, and even scared of what might happen if people find out. You may sometimes feel sad, tired, guilty or maybe strong and confident.  You may feel as though you are quite alone as it is not always easy to know or meet others in the same situation.

You are not alone.

  • We run activities and groups to help you meet other young people in similar situations. We also offer one to one support
  • Remember – you are not alone. Read some other Young Carer stories
  • We have social media pages including Facebook and Instagram
  • We may have to get other services involved to make sure your needs are met

Please contact us if you think you might be a Young Carer, or are a parent/guardian of a Young Carer.

Being a Young Adult Carer

Young Adult Carers are people aged between 18 and 25 who take responsibility for the care of another person (usually a relative) who has either an ongoing serious health condition or mental health problem, alcohol or drug addiction, a physical or learning disability, or is elderly or frail. As a young adult carer you might be involved in personal care or emotional support for the person you care for, domestic tasks or general care. It might be difficult to manage your caring role with school, college or work and you may feel isolated and that friends don’t understand what you are going through. Or you might feel your caring role has made you more confident. However you feel about your caring role, Northamptonshire Carers can offer a range of services to help and support you:

  • Emotional support through one to one sessions or group social activities to meet other young adult carers
  • A Carer’s Assessment to talk through your caring role and help you access other services
  • Advice and guidance on accessing education, training and employment (link to internal page)
  • Newsletters and social media to keep you in touch with other young adult carers

 If you think you might be a young adult carer and you want to contact us to find out more about how we can help you.
You can Make a Self Referral by following this Link