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Young carers

A Young Carer is someone under the age of 18 who helps to look after a relative who has a disability, illness, mental health condition, or issues with substance/alcohol misuse. Young people aged up to 25 with caring responsibilities may be known as Young Adult Carers.

The majority of Young Carers care for a parent or sibling. They may be supporting with tasks in the home such as cleaning and cooking or helping someone to get dressed and get around the home and the community, look after siblings or support the person emotionally, for example listening to them and trying to help keep them calm.

The difference between Young Carers and other young people who help in the home is that young carers are often responsible for someone else in their family due to the cared for person being unable to meet all of their own needs as opposed to tasks and responsibilities ordinarily taken on by other young people as part of growing up and gaining independence. A Young Carer might also care for a grandparent or someone else from their extended family.

How do we help Young Carers?

Darlington Young Carers Service supports Young carers aged 5-25 to reduce the impact of caring responsibilities on education, social opportunities, emotional well-being, future aspirations and family relationships, enabling them to have the same opportunities and life chances as other young people who do not have caring responsibilities.

Young Carers are supported via:

  • One to One Support to give Young Carers the opportunity to talk in a safe space, promote resilience and develop coping strategies
  • Respite activities which also allow the opportunity to meet with other Young Carers and receive peer support
  • Information, Advice and Guidance
  • Family Support
  • Signposting and making referrals to other services to provide additional support

We also offer awareness raising to other services and agencies (universal, statutory and third sector) via:

  • Awareness training to agencies working with young people
  • Presentations and assemblies in schools to raise awareness among their staff and pupils and schools also have the opportunity to be awarded the ‘Young Carers Charter’

Why do Young Carers need support?

Being a Young Carer can affect many areas of a young person’s life, including school and college, employment, and socialising. Inappropriate or over demanding caring roles can lead to Young Carers being isolated from their peers and feeling like their opportunities to reach their full potential are reduced. Caring responsibilities can also impact the mental health and well-being of Young Carers due to worry and stress and affect education attendance and achievement.

Contact Details

Humankind Darlington Young Carers

Referrals are accepted from any agency (parental consent must be given for under 16’s) and families and Young Carers can also refer themselves. To discuss a potential referral or request a form please contact us on any of the details above.