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Help for young carers

If you're 19 and under and you look after someone at home, you can get help with care and your school work

Get help if you're a young carer

The things you have to do at home may affect your schoolwork and your friendships. You may also feel a bit down.

You don’t have to cope on your own if you’re looking after an adult or a child in your family.

At school or college

Young carer’s champion

Your school or college may have a ‘young carers’ champion’ – a member of staff whose job it is to help students like you.  Or you can talk to someone at school or college who you like and trust. It could be a teacher or another member of staff. You can speak to them or give them a letter from home.

Whoever you speak to will be able to make sure that the school knows about and understands your situation. They can:

  • arrange for you to use your mobile phone at school so that you can get calls if anything is wrong at home
  • make sure teachers are understanding and flexible if you’re struggling to keep up with homework or you arrive late
  • listen to you if you need someone to talk to
  • make an appointment for you to see the school nurse

Find out who the young carer's champion is at your school.

School nurse and student support staff

You can ask to see the school nurse when she next visits your school or college or the student support staff based at your school or college.

The school nurse and the student support staff can:

  • tell you about where you can get help outside school
  • answer questions you may have about the illness or condition of the person you look after
  • check that you’re okay and coping with the situation
  • refer you for a carer’s assessment

You can make your first appointment with the school nurse or student support staff through:

  • the teacher or staff member you chose to speak to
  • going along to a drop-in clinic at your school
  • your doctor (GP)
  • a referral form which you can get from your head of year
  • your parent or guardian who can make an appointment for you through the school

Once you’ve seen the school nurse for the first time, they’ll give you a number you can text them on and a phone app you can use to ask confidential questions.

Help outside school

Barnardo’s CareFree Project helps young carers and their families get what they need.

Barnardo’s CareFree Project can help you:

  • take time away from caring
  • get the help the person you care for and your family need
  • get out to activities
  • find someone to talk to
  • apply for a Young Carer ID card to show to doctors and nurses so that they’ll tell you what is happening

Barnardo’s CareFree Project
Phone or text: 0116 2867182
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Carer’s assessment for young carers

You can get a young carer’s assessment if you’re 19 years old or younger.

Ask for an assessment by telephoning us on 0116 305 0005.

We will send someone to your home to talk to you about your situation and work out how we can help you and your family.

If you and the person you look after both agree, we will look at what help we can give the person you look after. This can include:

  • equipment to help them move around the home, do day-to-day tasks and get out and about
  • someone to come in to help them wash and dress
  • help with cleaning and housework

We will also look at what you want and need outside home, for example:

  • help with school and college work
  • training to get a job
  • help to get a job
  • activities
  • spending time away from your caring responsibilities

After the assessment, we will give you a plan for the things we will help you with and we will regularly check your progress.

Ask for help for a young carer

If you work with children professionally or you are a friend or family member of a young carer - you can get them help by:

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