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Dorset Young Carers Service

Do you look after or help a relative who is ill or disabled? See the support available to you as a carer.

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 physically, mentally ill or disabled.

Many young people do not recognise themselves as carers. Looking after someone who is physically or mentally unwell can:

  • becoming demanding
  • make it difficult for you to look after yourself

Who is eligible for help?

The young carer 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 they need.

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

Complete the Young Carers checklist

What impact can caring have on young carers?

Young carers may report:

  • feeling worried, anxious or stressed about their caring responsibilities and the person they 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 can the Young Carers service help?

As the Young Carers service, we assess young carers to identify their individual needs and decide how to meet them. We aim to take a whole family approach to consider family needs, while signposting adults where appropriate.

Support also includes:

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

We also offer advice to schools, agencies and others (opens in a new window) working with young people. This includes addressing young carers' issues and making services more accessible to them.

Contact us

Contact the Young Carers Support team in Dorset for more help or advice.

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