Information for young people with caring responsibilities.
Support for young carers
Are you under 18 and looking after someone in your family who is ill or disabled?
Anyone who helps to look after a relative who is physically or mentally ill or who has a drug or alcohol problem, or who needs additional support for another reason is a carer. This could be for a parent, brother or sister or another relative. Maybe you help by staying at home to be there for them, helping them get washed or dressed, perhaps translating and interpreting for them, or doing lots of cleaning, shopping and cooking.
If this sounds like you, then you are a young carer. It may seem a strange way to describe yourself because looking after someone in your family may feel like a natural role.
Being a young carer is an important and selfless job. Many young carers find it rewarding and learn skills from what they do. But it can also get in the way of school, social life and even health.
Looking after someone can be stressful
It can be stressful and hard work looking after someone, even when you love them. And it can make it harder to keep up with things at school or find time to relax, have fun or see your friends. Being a carer means you may have the right to help and support to make life easier.
Help from the council
As a young carer, you are entitled to get help and support. We will not be looking to stop you from supporting the person you look after or separate you from that person. We will ask you what support you would like to improve your life and caring role.
Support is available from the Early Help Team in Children's Services. We can provide you with the following:
- an assessment of your needs
- one-to-one support if you have a high level of need
- advice to support you in your caring role
- information about other support services and activities you can engage in
- support with the transition to adult support services for those aged 16 or 17
You can contact the council directly. Or, if you prefer, you can ask someone you know to contact us for you - maybe a friend or relative, a teacher, or your family doctor. Don't be afraid to ask - getting the help you are entitled to be essential.
If you want to request a young carer's assessment or additional support, contact the Access to Children's Services Team on 020 7641 4000 (9am to 5pm weekdays).
You can also access support from your local Family Hub.
Young Carers Navigator
Westminster City Council and Young Westminster Foundation have joined forces with DreamArts to help provide services for young carers. They now have a Young Carers Navigator who can help you find out what support and services are available to you. They have also put together a Young Carers Pathway Brochure which gives more detail on these services:
The Young Carers Navigator can arrange an assessment with you to help find out what you need. The assessment form is below so you can see what kind of information they would ask for:
They can also put you in touch with other young carers through groups such as DreamArts Carers Express:
DreamArts Carers Express
First Sunday every month, 12 to 4:30pm, The Portman Centre, 12-18 Salisbury Street, NW8 8DE
To join, contact Duncan on: 07542 224 728
Young Adult Carers
The Carers Network supports young Adult Carers (those aged 18 and over).
Details of the support provided by Carers Network can be found on their website.
You can register for support on the site or contact them by phone or email:
Other local support for young carers
KidsTime is a workshop-based project offering support to children and young people whose parents are suffering/affected by parental mental health issues. Kidstime is for all the family - parents, carers, children and young people from 4 to 18 years.
- help children and young adults understand what has happened to their parents safely and understandably.
- help parents to manage better when stressed by mental health problems.
- help families talk together so that they can find better solutions.
- help children and young people have fun together (through drama and creative activities) and with their parents while learning to cope with pressures and grow emotionally.
The workshops run monthly and are held face-to-face in the south of the borough. Transport can be provided if required.
If you want to access or make a referral to the KidsTime Workshops, please email the Early Help Parenting Team:[email protected] or call Sarah Vohmann on 07971026518.
Renaissance Foundation is a specialist youth charity supporting young carers aged 12 to 18 years old. They also help young people with long-term health conditions. Their mission is to inspire young people to reach their full potential and embark on their journey of renewal. They do this through a three-stage programme focusing on strengthening resilience, developing soft skills, and raising aspirations.
You can refer yourself to the program, or a referral can be made by a healthcare professional such as a doctor, nurse or social worker. Teachers can also refer. Find the referral form and more details.
If you have any questions about the programme or the eligibility of someone you would like to refer, email [email protected], and we will be happy to help.
Where else can I find information?
There is lots of information available online that you might find helpful; below are some other places you might like to look:
The Children’s Society offers advice, resources and ways to connect with other young carers.
Our Time is a charity that provides support and interventions for children and young people affected by parental mental illness.
Young Minds is a charity set up to support young people in looking after their mental health, and they have information just for young carers.
Childline are a charity offering support and advice to young people; they have lots of information for young carers. You can also call them on 0800 1111.
The Carers Trust offers information and advice for young carers.
Published: 8 March 2023
Last updated: 15 November 2023