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Dorset Young Carers Service

Young carers are children or young people aged between 5 and 18 who provide significant, regular or ongoing care and emotional support to a family member who is mentally ill, physically ill or disabled.

Many young people don't recognise themselves as carers. Looking after someone who is physically or mentally unwell can become demanding and make it difficult to look after yourself.

Am I eligible for help?

As a young carer you must be giving support and help on a regular basis. We will assess any young person who meets our eligibility criteria to see what kind of support you need.

If you're unsure if you or a family member are young carers, complete our Young Carers' checklist to find out:

Complete the Young Carers' checklist

If you're unsure if you or a family member are young carers, complete our checklist to find out.

Impact of caring on young carers

As a young carer you may report:

  • feeling worried, anxious or stressed about your caring responsibilities and the person you care for
  • physical injuries such as back strain or muscular injuries due to caring duties
  • missing healthcare appointments
  • poor diet due to financial constraints on the family or a lack of cooking skills
  • difficulties with school attendance or homework

How the Young Carers service can help

At the Dorset Young Carers service we assess you as a young carer to identify your individual needs and decide how to meet them. We aim to take a whole family approach to consider family needs while signposting to adult services where appropriate.

Our support includes:

  • providing respite and time out from your caring role, such as organising activities for young carers during school holidays
  • signposting to any extra support that you as the young carer, or the cared-for person needs such as agencies
  • acting as an advocate in school if necessary
  • offering one-to-one support where appropriate

We also offer advice to schools, agencies and others who work with young people. This includes addressing young carers' issues and making services more accessible to them.

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