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What is a young carer?

A young carer is a person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person (Section 96 of the Children and Families Act 2014).

This relates to care for any family member who is physically or mentally ill, frail, elderly, disabled or misuses alcohol or substances.

The key principle is that:

‘Children should not undertake inappropriate or excessive caring roles that may have an impact on their development. A young carer becomes vulnerable when their caring role risks impacting upon their emotional or physical well-being and their prospects in education and life.’ (Care and Support Statutory Guidance. Issued under the Care Act. DH 2014. Paragraph 2.49).

Types of caring

Caring can be broken down into three types;

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Taking responsibility

Who does a young carer help look after?

  • Parent or step-parent
  • Sibling(s)
  • A grandparent

Who is a young carer?

Young carers are young people between the ages of 5 to 18 who care for a family member with:

  • Long term illness
  • Physical disability
  • Learning difficulties
  • Mental health condition
  • Substance misuse issues

When is someone not a young carer?

  • If babysitting and getting paid to do it
  • If carrying out chores for pocket money
  • If looking after brother or sister as parent works long hours

For someone to be a young carer, there is always a health need.

What provision is there for young carers?

There are young carers groups in secondary schools, across the city. In addition there are other community based support groups:

  • For 8-14 year olds: there is a group every Saturday morning at the John Pounds Centre in Portsea.
  • For 8-18 year olds: there is a group every Wednesday evening at the Paulsgrove Family Hub (Cheltenham Road, Paulsgrove PO6 3PL).
  • For 14-18 year olds: there is a group every Monday evening at the Carers Centre (117 Orchard Road, Southsea PO4 0AD).
  • For 18-25 year olds: there is a group every Thursday evening at the Carers Centre (117 Orchard Road, Southsea PO4 0AD)

There are also other activities organised for young people 5 to 18 years old during school holidays.

Portsmouth City Council's statutory duty for young carers

Under the Children & Families Act 2014, children have a right to a young carers assessment – this means that they have a right to be supported and get the help they need.

Young Carers Assessment and referral Form 

Contact us

For more advice and support, contact:

Young Carers Team
Somerstown Family Hub
Omega Street

Phone:  02392 821 816