Posted: 05 August 2013

Help me to help young carers

I am currently consulting with young carers all around the country to help find out what they know about their ‘rights’, and what they need to know. This consultation is providing pivotal guidance to help me create a ‘Know Your Rights’ pack.

If you know any young carers, or young people that would like to have a say on such a pack, please direct them to my online survey.

The Know Your Rights pack will take the form of a collection of information for young carers to help make them aware of their legal rights and the rights they have to access the information, support and advice they need to help them take control of their lives. It will also furnish them with information and advice to help them succeed in life and make the most of their free time.

By George, my very own project

I am blessed with a very diverse and varied role here at The Children’s Society. I get to do many different jobs, ranging from organising marketing materials, all sorts writing, reading and creating online content, to attending training events and the amazing young carers festival

However, one of the greatest opportunities that I have in this role is the ability to work on such an important new project completely from the beginning. Creating the Know Your Rights pack is a huge privilege, and a great opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. 

The kind of support young carers need

Even through only limited research, I have already uncovered so many ways that young carers are being let down. There are so many things that young carers should be entitled to, but are not receiving.

Young carers are one and a half times more likely to be suffering from a long-standing illness, disability or special educational need than their peers. This means that young carers need to be able to benefit from the Disability Living Allowance to help cover their increased costs of living. However, this benefit will soon be replaced with a Personal Independence Payment, which is only available for people over 16. Young carers also need to be over the age of 16 to receive the carer’s allowance, which is in direct conflict with our findings that the number of younger young carers is increasing.

Young carers also have significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level – the equivalent to nine grades lower overall to their peers. One in 20 young carers miss school because of their caring responsibilities. Young carers need any advice or information they can get to help manage their time, to minimise the chances of having to miss days of school, or so that they can have more time to study and enjoy themselves. The Know Your Rights pack aims to provide such advice by pinpointing and listing any help available from local or national authorities or organisations and by providing advice written by professionals. 

Finding out how young carers are being deprived of their rights in this way has spurred me on to make the Know Your Rights pack as concise and effective as possible. 

Please show your support by directing any children or young people (or young carers) that you know to my online survey.

By Robert Anderson - Digital team

Plain text

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.