Young carers are children and young people (up to the age of 18) whose lives are being affected by looking after somene with a dissability or a long term illness. The person they care for may be a parent, sibling, another family member or a friend, who does not necessarily live in the same house as them. "Dissability" refers to actual or perceived physical, dependance, mental health problems, fraity or age.
Young carers may be carrying out significant or substantial caring tasks and assuming a level of responsibility which is inappropriate to their age. Caring tasks can involve physical or emotional care, or taking responsibility for someone's safety or well-being. The impact of taking on an inappropriate caring role can include underachievement or absenteeism at school, mental or physical ill health. Young carers do not always recognise themselves as being 'carers'.
Primary and secondary carers
Young carers may be primary or secondary carers. By primary carer, it means that there is no other adult or young person assuming the main caring role. Being a secondary carer means that there is another parent, adult or sibling who assumes the primary caring role.
However, it is sometimes the case that a child presents as a secondary carer when in fact they are the primary carer because in many families, the main carer has to work to support the family and may be absent from the house for significant periods of time.
In other situations the responsible adult presenting as the primary carer is suffering mental health problems or has turned to substance abuse as a way of coping. This means the young person presenting as a secondary carer is a primary carer and may be taking on the responsibilities of two adults.
Help and support
The children and young people's service offers support to young carers and their parents. We have put a policy and protocols in place to help and young carers.
Kingston upon Hull
Tel: 01482 300 300
Text phone: 01482 300 349