In 2001 there were an estimated 175,000 young carers in the UK, with around a third caring for a person with a mental illness. It is likely the actual number is higher and research has suggested that around a third of young carers are involved in inappropriate and excessive caring with consequent knock-on effects on schooling and other key areas of their lives.
Devon Carers has a specialist team who work with young carers, addressing the needs of young people providing care and support to other family members, primarily a parent or a sibling. Young carers are put in a position of great responsibility at a very young age; dealing with situations that many adults would find a challenge. These children and young people have to cope in difficult circumstances, often not only looking after their relative but also helping to bring up siblings and run a household.
Devon Carers provides a consistent approach to the way in which young carers are supported across Devon. The types of services young carers currently benefit from include:
- Respite activities, including residential weekends
- Drop-ins/ Clubs
- School clubs
- Family support
- Information and signposting
- Transport to and from activities
To find out what is on offer for young carers, aged 5 to 18 years, in your area or to make a referral please contact Devon Carers on 08456 434 435