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Am I a young carer?

Welcome to the Luton Local Offer - this is where you can find support or information aimed at helping you as a young carer of a child or young person with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).

There are 3 ways to find what you are looking for:

  • You can use the search facility at the top of the page
  • You can search by topic

Or, you can read the answers to these questions by clicking on them (below)

What is a young carer?

A young carer is someone aged 18 years or a young adult carer up to 25, who helps look after someone in their family, who is ill, disabled, has a mental health condition or misuses drugs or alcohol.     

The difference between young carers and other young people who help in the home is that young carers are often responsible for someone else in their family in a way that most other young people are not.

What might a young carer do?

You may help out in and around the home, such as cooking, cleaning and shopping.  Or you might do much more if your family member can’t do some things themselves like helping them get washed and dressed or move around.  The help provided is unpaid.

Young Carers may experience isolation from their friends, difficulties coping at home, problems at school, and often need information and advice on the illness or disability their family member may have.  

What support is available?

Luton Young Carers can access emotional health and wellbeing services through the council’s young carers provider CHUMS.  CHUMS Young Carers services offer support with personal, social and educational development including whole family support; support is available at a variety of times and venues, including weekends, evenings and school holidays.

Caring for younger brothers or sisters or looking after a member of the family with a long term illness or disability can be tough for a young person, with little time to spend on yourself.

It can be hard to talk to your friends about your situation. You might feel like they wouldn't understand or you might be worried you'll be letting your family down if you tell people you're finding it hard to cope.

Just remember, support is available so you shouldn't have to cope all on your own.  It's okay to ask for help. 

Chums Young Carers offers a support network for young carers across Luton.  Telephone CHUMS 01525 863924 or visit the CHUMS website.

Related information

  • Carers Trust getting support if you are a young carer or young adult carer
  • Childline – Young Carers advice about making things easier and ways to help you cope
  • Children’s Society advice and support for young carers
  • Kooth provides free anonymous online support for young people.
  • NHS Choices Support - how to get help from school, social workers and healthcare professionals. There are videos of young carers talking about their experiences
  • youngSibs – tips for you as a sibling

What are my rights as young carer?

Young carers and young adult carers in England have the right to request an assessment of their own needs. The council can support young people to access services. If you are aged 16-17 years you can request an assessment in your own right. If you are under 16 you will need to be referred for a young carer’s assessment - this can be done through your school or GP.

Following the assessment, the council will provide you with information about the services available.   

Related information

How can I find out more about more about my brother or sister’s condition?

If you have a brother or sister with a long term health condition or a disability, there are times it may be challenging for you. It can be really hard to understand your brother or sister’s condition. Many siblings feel that they don’t know what’s happening and would like to know more. This is great!

If your sibling is able to express things directly, they are likely to want to talk to you more about what they are going through and how you can help.

Some things you can do if you want to know more about your brother or sister’s disability or condition

  1. ask your parent to explain your brother or sister’s disability or condition to you
  2. keep asking questions if you don’t understand the answers – even adults find it hard to understand disability
  3. write a list of things you want to know about and give it to your parent to discuss with you

Related information

What can I do if I feel sad or unhappy or am worried about my mental health?

Many of us feel sad, lonely, worried, angry or unhappy at times. Most of the time these feelings pass after a short while. If we feel these things a lot or for a long time it is important to find someone to talk to. You may be able to talk to a friend or family member, someone at school or college or maybe your doctor or there are services and organisations who can also offer help and support.   

CHUMS Emotional Wellbeing Service can support children, young people and their families in Luton; you can refer yourself to CHUMS or a parent, teacher or someone like your GP can also make the referral on your behalf.   Referrals can be made by phone or online, telephone 01525 863924 or visit the CHUMS young carers website for more information.

Related information