Support for Young Carers

Are you a young carer?

A young carer is under 18 years old, or has reached the age of 18 years and remains a pupil at school. A young person may become a young carer as the result of a family member’s illness, disability, mental health problems, or the misuse of drugs or alcohol in the home. Young carers may help someone with:

  • cooking, housework or shopping
  • getting dressed and moving around
  • giving emotional support
  • medication
  • managing the family budget or paying bills
  • communicating or accompanying them to appointments
  • help to care for siblings

With so many adult responsibilities, young carers can face many challenges and caring can have an impact on their life including school or college, socialising with friends and how they are feeling emotionally.

Support for Young Carers

A Young Carer Statement will enable you as a Young Carer to express your feelings and needs and find out what impact your caring responsibilities have on your life and aims to support you in your caring role.

The Young Carer Statement is completed by having a conversation with health, education, social work, South Ayrshire Carers Centre or someone you feel comfortable talking to in order to establish if it is appropriate for you to care for someone else.

The Young Carer Statement will identify your individual outcomes and what matters to you as a person such as:

  • details about the person you care for and support you provide
  • the impact caring has on your health and well being
  • the extent that you are able and willing to provide care
  • the nature and extent of the care provided
  • any support which is needed, either for you or the person you care for
  • whether a short break is needed.

Following the Young Carers Statement discussion we will let you know whether you need input or resources from South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership. We use Local Eligibility Criteria to help us make this decision.

We will meet the needs of carers whose needs are Critical and Substantial. If you do not have needs that are Critical or Substantial, we will give you information and advice, including what local support is available. This could include, for example, help from South Ayrshire Carers Centre.

For further information on Young Carers Statement please contact your local Health and Social Care Partnership office on 0300 123 0900 or contact South Ayrshire Carers Centre.

Find out how the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 might affect you if you are a young carer.

Read the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 Jargon Buster for Young Carers.

South Ayrshire Carers Centre

South Ayrshire Carers Centre provides advice and support to young carers, aged 8 onwards, through group work, one to one support, outreach work, drop-ins, information and support, advocacy and social opportunities to get away from their caring role and have fun!

Young adult carers, from ages 18 – 25 years can get additional support from South Ayrshire Carers Centre with CV building, preparing for college interviews and advice on housing, benefits and budgeting.

If you would like more information about South Ayrshire Carers Centre call 01292 263 000, pop into the centre at 43 Sandgate, Ayr, or visit their website or Facebook page.

Further details can be found in the South Ayrshire Young Carers leaflet.

Supporting young carers in education

For many young carers, school is a safe and happy place where they can be supported to achieve and feel included with their friends, however being able to take part in a full school life whilst juggling a caring role can be demanding.

Making sure that young carers are identified, heard and supported in school is important to ensure that they receive the same opportunities as their peers and to make sure that young people are not carrying out inappropriate levels of caring.

South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership is supporting schools, teachers and pupils to help raise awareness of young carers and the issues they face. We are also working to produce guidance material to support this work and this will be available on our website shortly.

Other support available

In addition to the Carers Centre there are many other organisations that offer support, advice and information to young carers. Access information on these organisations.

Young Scot

Young Scot find out how to apply for the Young Carers Package and Carer's Allowance, hear stories from other young people on their experience of being a carer and get loads of info on caring for someone.

Care Information Scotland

Being a young carer can be a daunting experience. If you are looking for help and support, you can now access Care Information Scotland via website, webchat and phone.