What is a young carer assessment and how can I get one?

A young carer assessment is a way for you to talk about the caring you do and to get support from your local council. 

If you care for someone and you are 17 or younger, you have a right to a young carer assessment, no matter how much time you spend caring. 

What can it help me with?

  • Find out if you are a young carer,
  • Look at your needs and find out if you’re happy looking after someone or if it’s too much for you,
  • Find things that can help you look after someone or give you strategies to help you cope, 
  • Talk about and make plans for your education, your hobbies, and your future.

    In Scotland, you can also get a young carer statement. 

    What can it give me access to?

    • A local young carer service. They may have activities for you to relax, have fun and meet other young carers.
    • A trusted support worker. They will work with you to create a support plan for things you need at home, at school, or for yourself.
    • Financial support or local discounts. 

      Some areas will have a young carer card, which can make it easier to get support.

      How do I ask for one?

      You can:

      • Ask a trusted adult (e.g. a teacher, GP, parent, etc.) to refer you. You could say “I care for somebody. Can you help me get a young carer assessment?” 
      • Ask for it yourself. This is called a self-referral. This usually means filling out a form about yourself and your caring role. You can do this without an adult’s permission, but your parent(s) will need to be involved later. 

      If you need help with referrals, you can text a Sidekick coach.

      What happens after the referral?

      You may have to wait a few weeks, but you will get an invite to a young carers assessment.  

      It can happen at home, online, or at a young carer centre. You can tell them what you prefer. 

      What happens during the assessment?

      You will speak to a worker who understands what it’s like being a young carer. They could be from your local council or young carer service. 

      They will ask you about:  

      • Your interests, 
      • What is important to you, 
      • The illness of the person you care for, and 
      • How you help out at home. 

      Your parent(s) and/or the person you care for may be asked questions too. 

      Don’t worry – it’s not a test of how well you care for someone but more about how you feel about it.

      What happens after?

      The worker will write up what you discussed. Then they will let you know if you can get support. 

      If you are under 18, your parents will get a copy of your assessment.

      What if I'm not recognised as a young carer?

      They should tell you the reason why, normally in writing. If your circumstances change, you can have another assessment in the future.

      They may share other support services online or in your area. Remember, you can always message Sidekick.

      More info

      Assessment can be slightly different, depending on where you live.  

      Carers UK has downloadable guides for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

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