Young carers are children/young people who care for family member(s) who:
- suffer from an illness
- have a disability
- have mental ill-health issues
- suffer from substance misuse
Their caring role has an impact on their lives as they often take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities. Under normal circumstances an adult would provide the care.
Caring for someone can be a positive experience and many young carers say 'they learn important skills and feel good about their caring role'.
Being a young carer can also be lonely as their time is often taken up with caring tasks and there are few opportunities for friendships or socialising.
Young carers may want to keep these things to themselves for many reasons such as worrying about bullying, so adults work with children to share the responsibility. Adults try to understand the impact a caring responsibility may have on young carers and work out how to best help and support them.
The strategy 'Getting it right for young carers in Fife 2012-15' provides important information for all those working with children and young people in Fife.