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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.

What is a Young Carer Statement, and what can I expect?

The Carers Act 2016 entitles every Young Carer to a Young Carer Statement. You are a young carer if you provide care and are aged 18 and under, or 18 and still in school.

What is a Young Carer Statement?

A Young Carer Statement is a written record of the key points of a conversation you have with your support workers. This conversation will help to find out more about you, what you do in your caring role, what you want to achieve (your goals), and all the things that are important to you.

It can help to find out what things you enjoy doing outside of your caring role and what help you might need to continue to do them. It will also help to look at what help other people like teachers and doctors can provide to make sure that you aren’t doing anything you aren’t comfortable with.

What will the Young Carer Statement cover?

Your statement will cover your personal circumstances, personal outcomes and identified needs, as well as what support is available to you. These must be included in all young carer statements in Scotland, but you might talk about some other things, too. You don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to.

  • Personal circumstances cover what your life is like, including who you live with, things you like doing and what you normally do each day.
  • The personal outcomes that are included in your young carer statement are a way of describing your aims, goals or hopes. This could be something like wanting to be able to spend more time with your friends or feeling more supported at school.
  • Identified needs are the things you need to achieve your goals or personal outcomes. You might already know what some of these needs are or you might need to have a chat with a support worker to decide them.

If any of your identified needs meet the criteria we have in Orkney, we must provide you with support to meet those needs. The person supporting you with your statement can tell you more about these criteria and whether you meet them.

We also have to consider whether you would benefit from a short break. What this break looks like can vary depending on what works for you. This could include going to the cinema, getting sports equipment, or even attending the Young Carers Festival in the Summer. Due to restrictions around COVID-19, your break might be different than what’s usually possible, but you will be supported in accessing something that is safe, based on what is happening.

The Conversation

How this will Help You as a Young Carer

  • It will help to complete a ‘statement’, so your views and opinions are heard about your caring role.
  • It helps adults around you to work out what advice and information you may need in relation to your caring role.
  • It helps adults around you work out what support you require to continue in your caring role, if this is what you want to do.

The Things we Might Ask You about What You do as a Carer.

  • Tell me about a normal day? What does your week look like?
  • Talk me through your daily routine at home?
  • What do you do when you first get up in the morning, when you get home from school, or when you go to bed?
  • What matters most to you?
  • What do you like to do in your spare time? What hobbies do you have?
  • Tell me what is difficult about your caring role? What things do you have to do?
  • How do you feel about being a carer? How does this affect your day-to-day life?
  • What help and support do you and/or your family get just now?
  • Do people listen to you?
  • What help might you need at home?
  • Does your school know you are a carer?

Do I have to complete a Young Carer Statement?

No, completing a young carer statement is completely optional. If you say no, you can always change your mind later. If you ask to complete a Young Carer Statement at any time, the support person must provide you with the opportunity to complete one.

Who do I speak to about getting a young carer statement?

The best place to go to discuss your Young Carer Statement is with Orkney Young Carers. You can find out more on the Orkney Young Carers website. There telephone number is 01856 870500.

You can also speak to your class teacher, a guidance teacher or support staff at your school. You may also be asked by a teacher or support worker if you would like to complete a statement if they are aware of your caring role.

What happens with my Young Carer Statement?

Once your Young Carer Statement has been written, you will receive a copy of what was written and can choose who you would like to share it with. It’s your document and you decide who gets to see it.

What happens when I turn 18?

When you turn 18, and leave school, you'll transition from a being a Young Carer to an Adult Carer. The Carers Act also gives Adult Carers the right to an Adult Carer Support Plan. This does the same job as your Young Carer Statement and ensures you keep getting support. Any support you receive under your Young Carer Statement will stay in place until your Adult Carer Support Plan has been completed. As always, you can go to Orkney Young Carers and they can help you with this transition, or any other support you need.

Orkney Young Carers

Orkney Young Carers service 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!

If you would like more information about Orkney Young Carers you can do so in the following ways:

Telephone: 01856870500.

Pop into the carers centre next to Orkney Travel Centre, Kirkwall.

Visit their Website, Facebook page and watch their YouTube clip from the links in the 'Related Sites' section of this page.

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