What support can I get for my child?
Wigan & Leigh Young Carers charity has over 15 years experience of working with young carers, from as young as five, through the teenage years and right up until they become independent adults. We work across the whole of Wigan borough and are a volunteer led charity, with a big heart. We have some fantastic success stories and feel proud to be part of a young carer’s journey into adulthood – our track record speaks for itself, as we now have some young adult carers on our Board of Trustees and also volunteering in the younger groups – as they are eager to ‘give something back‘ to the charity which has supported them.
We offer young carers some ‘time off‘ from their caring role and following an assessment, can offer a variety of support, which is tailored to meet your child’s needs. We are also on hand to provide ongoing advice and signpost you to support should you need it.
Research shows that caring can affect a young person in a whole variety of ways, from feeling different to their peers and having difficulty making friends, to being tired and not having time to do homework or concentrate at school. Worrying about the person they care for can also make them feel stressed and worried and we are here to help – by giving them some ‘me time’ with other young people in similar situations, without fear of being judged about what goes on at home.
What we can offer
What help can I get for myself?
First of all, we recognise that having a caring role is a complex part of family life and you may not even realise that your child is a young carer. Being a young carer can have many positive effects on a child (e.g. maturity, conscientiousness, time management, practical and emotional skills), but at the same time, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that childhood is adversely affected by caring responsibilities.
So, you may need help in getting the extra support that you are entitled to. Many people are scared of asking for help, but as a charity with a wealth of experience, we are here to support you and your family. You may be concerned that services might try to interfere or that your role as a parent is undermined. Getting help can feel like a risk, but it’s not – it might be the only way to make life easier for you and your family.
You can contact our service via phone or email, in a confidential manner. Following our initial discussion with you, if we think you and your family may benefit from another service, we will ask your permission before giving your details to a third party, in line with Wigan Children’s Safeguarding Board code of practice, and current information sharing legislation.
If you have a disability, illness or substance misuse problem, you may benefit from an assessment of your own needs from a social worker or health professional. This is a way of working out what you and your family need to stay healthy and happy. During an assessment, a social worker will talk to you in private about how your health affects your daily living and what help you need from different services. As your child/children are part of your care network, they may also be asked for their input too. This will help get the full picture of support needed and will also give your young carer the recognition they deserve. For more information on assessments contact www.wigan.gov.uk.