​​Identifying young carers

Young carers have a parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle or other relative with an illness, disability, mental health illness or substance misuse problem.

​A young carer may come to your notice through one or more of the following

  • they live in a family where one or more members of the family has an illness, disability, mental health illness or substance misuse problem.
  • often misses school or is late
  • difficulty concentrating in class
  • can be tired or withdrawn
  • not handing in homework or homework poor quality
  • isolated from peers and/or victim of bullying
  • ​not able to take part in extra curricular activities
  • has low self esteem and confidence
  • behavioural problems

​Young carers may appear to be coping well, but is always good to take time to talk to them to find out how they really are.

Working with a young carer - what can you do?​

  • if you work with an adult with a disability, illness, mental health illness or substance misuse problem ask if they have children

  • ​talk to them about their caring role and how they are coping
  • ​listen to their wishes and how they feel about being a young carer
  • ​think about what is have a detrimental effect on their wellbeing
  • think what additional help is required to support them and the person they care for
  • with their agreement refer them to East Lothian Young Carers

​Many young carers can be reluctant to identify themselves as a young carer as they are worried about what might happen if they let others know about their home situation.  Parents may be fearful they will be considered to be "bad parents" when their child's caring role is identified.  To ensure young carers and those they care for receive the help and support they need it is important ot be sensitive to the concerns of young carers and their families when talking to them about their home life.

East Lothian Young Carers supports young carers and their families working with our colleagues in Children's Services, Education, Health and voluntary sector to provide a service which places the young carer at the centre of a whole family approach to support.  To refer a young carer to our service please complete our referral form.