Young carers have the same rights as other carers under the NHS and Community Care Act 1990. They can also be considered "children in need" under the Children's Act 1989, depending upon whether or not the local authority considers the child's caring role as preventing him/her from achieving or maintaining a reasonable standard of social opportunities and achieving full school attendance.
Young carers are children and young people who are the main carers of a sick or disabled parent or sibling. Estimates of the number of young carers in the UK vary between 15,000 and 50,000.
Young carers face serious caring responsibilities. In addition to the daily tasks they complete for their parents, such as housework, cooking and bathing, they live with the added pressure of school and, often, a lack of understanding from schoolmates. The physical and emotional strain is sometimes too much – many skip school and suffer depression.
If you are a carer under the age of 16 years who is providing care, including secondary care, to a vulnerable adult over 18 years you should contact the local Young Carers Project.
Information Shop for young people
The Information Shop for young people is part of a national network of "shops" initiated by the National Youth Agency. It provides free and confidential information, advice and support service for young people between the ages of 14 and 25.
Information is available on:
- family and relationships
- employment and training
- justice and equality
- sport, travel and leisure
We hope the information here will help with any issues you may have over health conditions and staying well.
For an A-Z listing of teenage health conditions ranging from Alcohol to Zits and a "what to do" guide, contact www.teenagehealthfreak.org.
On this site there's also a virtual surgery connection which includes the following topics:
- What's legal at what age?
- Emergency Room
- Not feeling well?
- drugs and alcohol
- weight and eating
- body changes – girl/boy
If there's something you can't find the answer to, the site allows you to email a doctor with your health question: www.dr-ann.org.
The NHS has a health encyclopaedia covering a wide range of topics. There's a self-help guide and a Healthy Living section, too.
If you're worried about things and not sure who to talk to, then there are organisations offering help.
Do you feel really down? Are you concerned about harming yourself? Have you been sexually abused? Do you know of someone else with a mental illness?
Now and again it's OK to feel low, stressed, worried. But if those feelings don't go away and begin to affect your day-to-day life, then you will probably need to seek help.
Young Minds is a charity for young people committed to improving your mental health. It will explain what might be causing your problem and offer guidance about what to do next. The website also provides an A-Z of links to other organisations for specific problems.
The MIND Organisation
MIND offer a Young Person's Introduction to Mental Health. Information includes the meaning of mental health and mental illness plus there are sections on understanding certain types of mental health conditions for example depression, eating problems, obsessions. A separate section has been devoted to 'Young Carers' relating to their 'Fears and Concerns'.
Click on Carers Profiles to find a list of links that may be of use to you.
For young people wishing to speak about their problem. Telephone 0800 1111 for confidential counselling.
For young carers, their families and those who work to support them across the UK.
Information and support to young people being bullied.
Help for young people with mental ill health.
A 24-hour confidential telephone service for anyone in despair.
Shelter is a national housing advice service.
A young people's website where young people can have their say.
Telephone: 01629 533 190
Click here to view the Derbyshire County Council's adult care page.