Find out if you are a young carer

Find out about the rights you have if you are young carer and get the help and support you need.

Caring for someone when you are a young person can be difficult. Some people start caring at a very young age and don't really realise that they've become carers. Other young people become carers overnight.

You may be a young carer if you:

  • care for a family member, because of illness, disability or old age
  • help someone with bathing or dressing
  • help someone to go to the toilet or get into/out of bed
  • do most of the cooking for your family
  • look after money or organise the family budget
  • help anyone to take medication regularly
  • collect prescriptions or benefits on behalf of someone else
  • go shopping for the family
  • look after brothers or sisters, by taking them to school, doing their laundry, or cooking their meals
  • take care of housework, such as dusting, hovering, washing or ironing;
  • speak on behalf of someone who has difficulty speaking or communicating for themselves
  • translate or interpret for someone at home
  • have responsibilities at home that prevent you from spending time with your friends, or inviting them around your house
  • feel sad, angry, embarrassed or guilty about the help you give to anyone at home
  • feel jealous of friends who don't have the same responsibilities
  • avoid telling anyone outside the family about your home situation.
Your assessment will look at the things you do and how they affect your development. Children’s Services can provide help with benefits and services for you and your family and make sure that your development is not affected by being a young carer.

As a young carer you have the right to:

  • an assessment to find out what help and support you need
  • be recognised and treated separately from the person you care for
  • make choices about the amount of care you give
  • practical help and support with caring
  • advice about what to do and who to contact in an emergency
  • some information about the illness and any side-effects of the medication.
Carers of all ages have a legal right to have a personal assessment at the same time as the person they care for.   
If you are a young carer aged 16 or over, you have the right to have your own assessment, whether the person you care for is being assessed or not.
If you are a young carer aged under 16 your assessment is carried out under a law called the ‘Children’s Act, 1989’. You are then described as a ‘child in need’ and your assessment is carried out by someone from the Children’s Services team.  
Benefits and services for yourself, the person you care for or your family, are available after you have had an assessment.
A number of different people can carry out assessments. These include personal advisers, education welfare officers, social workers, benefit advice workers and nurses.  

It is your right to:

  • take a break and enjoy leisure time
  • have an education
  • be heard, listened to and believed
  • be protected from physical and psychological harm
  • have privacy and respect
  • information and advice
  • health and social care
  • be consulted and fully involved in discussions which affect your life.
A young carer may be dealing with a range of situations, such as disability, chronic illness, mental health difficulties or problems with drugs or alcohol misuse.  

If you are a young carer you can have an assessment to find out what your rights are and what benefits and services you are entitled to.

For more information about young carers rights visit Northumberland Young Carers website