Helping to care for someone at home?

If you’re helping to care for a family member due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, then you are one of thousands of young people in Scotland who have a role as a young carer.

Young carers do an amazing job of juggling caring and school work. For some, school is the place you feel like you can go to get a break from your caring role and some support from teachers and friends. But young carers have shared with us about issues they can face with school too: getting to school on time; keeping up with homework; having the time and money to take part in social activities outside of school; feeling worried and distracted in class thinking about the person you help care for; and feeling like your school pals and teachers don’t understand what your home life is really like.

5 tips to support your learning and wellbeing as a young carer

  1. Remember that in order to have the energy and strength to continue to care, you need to look after yourself. If you’re finding school difficult emotionally at the moment, it may help to look at the tips and wee films in our advice section ‘I feel down about school’
  2. It helps to know that you’re not alone. Check out what other young carers have told Reach about what makes school difficult for them and the support that helps.
  3. We totally understand that it’s not always easy to talk about problems in your life, but telling someone can be the first step to things getting better. Check out our animation for young people about this, and try talking to your favourite teacher in private to tell them that you’re struggling with your learning because of your caring responsibilities. They may have suggestions that will help you.
  4. You might not have identified yourself as being a young carer before, but if you have a caring role at home and could do with some advice and extra help, get in touch with your local carers centre – they will be good people to talk to about how you’re feeling about your home life. There are also young carers groups who offer support and can help you connect with other young carers if you think it will help. Your school or Carers Centre will be able to put you in touch with them.
  5. It’s also worth checking out the Young Carer package of benefits that Young Scot can offer. It includes info about financial help you can get as a young carer and perks to help you make the most of any time off you do manage to have, like discount vouchers for Amazon and Netflix.

More useful links about supporting young carers in education

Education Scotland have been working with Young Carer projects on this awesome list of resources to help support young carers in education.

We ❤️ this wee BBC Scotland video on the list, ‘Things teachers should know about Young Carers’. If you’re a young carer you might relate to a lot of what the young people in the film say…..