Young carers are people, under the age of 18 years, who are providing care and support to parents, siblings, or other family members who have a physical or learning disability, illness, mental health difficulty, sensory impairment or who misuse drugs and alcohol.
Young carers carry out significant caring tasks and assume a level of responsibility for themselves and/or another person which would be taken on by an adult.
Some of the most common care tasks you may provide are:
- help with moving around
- giving medication
- help to dress, shower or wash
- offering emotional support
Some people start giving care at a very young age and don't really realise they're carers. Other young people become carers overnight. If someone in your family needs to be looked after, you may really want to help them. You may also want to talk about this and how you and the person you care for can get some support.
How to get help
Talk to someone at your school such as a teacher or guidance teacher, school nurse, a social worker or Action for Children, Scottish Borders CHIMES service.
This is a conversation to look at what is important to you and how to make this work, which may lead to a young carers statement that is individual to you.
We will listen to your views on services that will help you care.
Contact Scottish Borders CHIMES
- phone: 01896 750173
- address: Ground Floor, Enterprise House, Galabank Business Park, Wilderhaugh, Galashiels TD1 1PR
Information about national support for carers is available on the NHS Inform website or by calling 0800 011 3200 (lines are open Monday-Friday, 9am–5pm).
Young carer grant
If you are a young carer in Scotland and aged 16-18, you may qualify for the young carer grant. You can find more information, including how to apply on the government website. You can also phone Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222.
Young carers package
The young carers package is part of the Scottish Government's commitment to recognising the contributions of young carers across Scotland. It's available to anyone aged 11-18 inclusive who cares, unpaid, for a family member, friend or member of their community, regularly and on a long-term basis. You might help someone get dressed in the morning, or get their shopping each week, or you might provide emotional support. More information is available on the Young Scot website.
The Carers Trust is a major charity for, with and about carers, including young carers. They work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems. Find out more on their website or Facebook page.