Young carers are children and young people who are the main carers of a sick or disabled parent or sibling. According to the 2011 Census, there are almost 200 000 young carers in the UK.
Young carers face serious caring responsibilities. In addition to the daily tasks they complete for their parents such as housework, cooking and bathing, they live with the added pressure of school and, often, a lack of understanding from schoolmates
Young carers have the same rights as other carers under the NHS and Community Care Act 1990. They can also be considered "children in need" under the Children's Act 1989 depending upon whether or not the local authority considers the child's caring role as preventing him/her from achieving or maintaining a reasonable standard of social opportunities and achieving full school attendance.
Am I a young carer?
Are you under 18? Do you look after or help to look after someone at home who is disabled, sick, elderly, experiencing mental health problems or unable to look after themselves for some other reason? If so, you are probably a young carer. We have produced a Young Carers Guide called ‘ Do you care? ’
Where can I find help, support and advice?
Young Carers Assessment and Development Worker
The Young Carers Assessment and Development Worker can provide a range of information and advice for young carers and those who work with young carers. This can include visiting a family to carry out a Young Carer’s Initial Assessment. All referrals for a young carers service should be sent to the Assessment and Development Worker.
Telephone: 01443 668839
Telephone: Freephone 0808 100 1801
CarersLine open: 9.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and 2.00 to 5.00 p.m. Monday to Friday
(answerphone at all other times)
If a young carer needs ongoing support, they can be referred to the Rhondda Cynon Taf Young Carer's Project run by Action For Children.
It aims to:
- ensure that young carers have opportunities to be free of their caring responsibilities
- make sure that young carers are not missing out on opportunities that their peer group enjoy
- arrange social and leisure activities
- provide practical and emotional support
Action for Children Rhondda Cynon Taf Young Carer's Project
293 Brithweunydd Road, Trealaw, Tonypandy CF40 2NZ
Telephone: 01443 433079
We also have a Carers Support Project dedicated to supporting and advising carers of all ages living within Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Carers Support Project
Heddfan, Ilan Avenue, Rhydyfelin, Pontypridd CF37 5NP.
The Carers Support Project is part of the Community Care Division. The Project provides support, counselling and information for people caring for others. It operates a freephone Carersline and a carers telephone counselling service. The project also produces a carers pack, quarterly newsletters, pamper days, workshops and trips all of which are free to carers in Rhondda Cynon Taff.
The Project also works in partnership with other organisations and colleagues in the area to establish carers’ groups.
Young Carers Schools Award begins pilot initiative:
The RCT Young Carers Schools Award has been developed after speaking to Young Carers and getting their views about the support they are currently receiving in schools. Whilst some report good support, others do not feel that their schools understand their needs. We want to establish an award to help schools
and educational staff develop an informed understanding of the issues faced by Young Carers in relation to their personal and school life and their education.
The focus of the award aims for schools to work directly alongside the Young Carers Service in RCT to ensure that this vulnerable group is recognised and
supported in order to go on and reach their full potential.
The Schools Award will support and ensure that good practice is taking place in the school in relation to young carers and their needs.
The award is made up of 3 levels - Bronze, Silver and Gold and within each level are a set of standards that need to be fulfilled in order for the school to achieve the award. Young Carers have been involved throughout the award's development and school staff have been consulted to ensure these standards are achievable and they recognise the support Young Carers want in their educational establishment.
We hope that the award will create a uniformed and supportive approach to Young Carers in all schools in RCT and will raise the profile of Young Carers amongst pupils and staff.
We currently have six Schools who have agreed to take on this Award as a pilot:
- Ysgol Llanhari
- Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun
- Treorchy Comprehensive School
- Cardinal Newman RC Comprehensive School
- Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive School
- Mountain Ash Comprehensive School
After the pilot stage we plan to roll out the programme across RCT to ensure that young people who have caring responsibilities are recognised and supported in their educational establishments.
For more information please contact RCT Schools Lead on 01443 668839
Carers' Digital Stories
Four inspirational RCT Council Carers have created unique digital stories to explain more about life as a carer and the valuable roles they carry out.
Each of the stories is very different, as are each of our carers. It is hoped that by sharing with you their very real experiences, it will offer support, maybe allow you to find out things you never knew before and, more importantly, celebrate just how special each and every one of our carers is.
Kyle is a Young Carer he says: "My family care for me, my friends care for me, I care for them." Enjoy his digital story.
Tina is a Young Adult Carer who has cared for both of her parents and is known as "the miracle child" for more than one good reason! Enjoy her digital story.
Sue and her husband care for each other. She says "We look after each other, we support each other". Watch her lovely digital story here
Wendy is a parent carer and dedicates her time to her daughter, Emily, 21, who has Down's Syndrome. "It's not catching", Wendy says. Enjoy her digital story here
Young Carers in RCT put on a flashmob
A campaign to identify hidden young carers in RCT was launched with a performance of a dance routine ‘flashmob’ in the centre of Pontypridd.
‘Y C Young Carers?’ aims to highlight the fact that young carers do not look any different from other young people, which is why they often remain hidden and don’t receive the support they are entitled to.
The event was a great example of multi-agency working between Carers Trust, Crossroads Care Cwm Taf, our RCT Carers Support project, Artis Community and Zoom Cymru. More than 20 carers of all ages from across RCT took part in the dance routine while leaflets about the support available were handed out to shoppers and people who stopped to watch the show.
Other Useful Contacts
- Carers Information links to young carers information
- Childline for young people wishing to speak about their problem. Telephone 0800 1111 for confidential counselling.
- RD4U Cruse Bereavement Care’s Youth Involvement Project.
- Samaritans provides a 24-hour confidential telephone service for anyone in despair.
- Young Carers Initiative for young Carers, their families and those who work to support them across the UK
- Young Carers Net includes an interactive section