Our Young Carers Support Service provides support, advice and respite breaks for children and young people under 18 who have substantial caring responsibilities at home.
Our definition of a Young Carer is: if you are under 18 and look after someone by providing substantial and regular care that persists over time and is important in maintaining the health, safety or day-to-day well-being of the person cared for and the wider family.
The types of tasks being carried out are often regular and substantial, which would usually be associated with an adult. The term does not apply for everyday and occasional help around the home that may often be expected of or given by children in families.
This could be helping to care for a physically disabled parent or sibling, or a parent experiencing mental ill health, alcohol or drug misuse. The caring role would usually be having a detrimental impact on the young person's development, such as difficulties at school, emotional difficulties or social isolation.
The Somerset Young Carers service aims to:
- Identify and support young people with caring responsibilities
- Promote recognition and awareness of their needs and achievements
- Work alongside other agencies to develop schemes and services which support young carers
A Young Carers worker can help you in a number of ways:
- They can answer your questions and give you advice on anything you need to know.
- They can give you useful information, which can help you and your family.
- They can introduce you to other young people who are in similar situations to you.
- They can speak out for you, making sure that your feelings and wishes are heard.
- They run regular groups, where you can take part in exciting and new activities, have a break from home life, and have fun with friends.
- They can provide trips and activities during the year that can also give you a break and support from your caring role
- They can talk to your school about what being a young carer means for you
- They can signpost you to other organisations that can support you.
Anyone under 18 in a substantial and regular caring role can be referred to this service.
The service is free, although contributions are sometimes asked for, to help with the cost of a trip or activity.
All referrals must be sent to the Somerset Direct Children's team (their contact details are below) and completed using an early help assessment.