Carers provide unpaid help and support to a relative, friend or neighbour who cannot manage to live independently due to frailty, illness, disability or addiction.
A young carer is a carer who is under 18 years old, or is 18 years of age and is still a pupil at school.
The person you care for may be a parent, brother, sister, grandparent or other family member. You may be the main carer or you may be helping someone else.
As a carer, you may be doing any one or more of these things:
For some people and at some times, caring for someone else can be a good experience. Some children and young people talk about gaining confidence, skills and knowledge from being an unpaid carer. Caring for someone can also be stressful and isolating. You may feel as if there is no-one you can speak to or that other people do not understand.
Some problems won't go away on their own, but you can feel a lot better when you talk to someone about them. You might want to talk to friends or family or you might decide to talk to someone like a teacher, doctor or social worker if you want someone to help you with something. You can refer to our Child Care web page for more information.
If you are finding it hard to find the right moment to bring something up with someone, you might want to try writing it down first in a diary, a poem, or a letter. You could practise what you want to say with ChildLine or telephone 0800 1111 or by getting in touch with youngcarersnet.
Teachers are often the first point of contact for young carers. Your teacher will be able to talk with you about what support you may need and will also help to put you in touch with other support services. Your school may also run a young carers group.
The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 introduced new rights for carers.
You can request a Young Carers Statement which will include information about you and what you want to see happen and about the person that you care for. There is a duty to provide support for carers whose needs meet the local eligibility criteria.
You can also refer to the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Carers' Strategy 2019-22.
If you are a young person, aged 8 – 18, who helps to look after your mum, dad, brother, sister or grandparent, who needs your help due to disability, illness, frailty or addiction- you’re a young carer.
Depending on individual needs, Falkirk & Clackmannanshire Young Carers Project can provide:
The Young Carers Project will help you to complete a Young Carers Statement which will make sure your views and opinions are heard and set out what information and support you may need in relation to your caring role.
If you would like to request a Young Carers Statement, contact the Young Carers Project as above or speak to a teacher in school who can help you arrange this.
If you are a carer, the Forth Valley Carers card provides identification and recognition of your role as a carer. The card also ensures you are more easily identified by health and social care professionals.
The Young Carer Grant is a new yearly cash payment of £300 for 16-18 year olds which carers can spend as they choose. Young carers can claim if they are at school, in further education, employed or unemployed and may be eligible if they meet all of the following criteria:
Young Carers will be able to apply from 21 October online at https://www.mygov.scot/benefits/ or through the Freephone helpline at 0800 182 2222.
Young Carers Project
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 452394 / 450000