Crossroads young carers supports children and young people caring on a daily basis.
Whilst many children and young people will do jobs around the home, appropriate to their age and ability, Young Carers do things and take on a level of responsibility well beyond that of their peers.
All carers need support but, because of the potential adverse impact in the longer term on their educational, social and emotional development, young carers have particular needs. They need more recognition, understanding and help.
Our vision is to support, serve and strengthen young carers.
DefinitionYoung Carer - a child or young person under the age of 23, whose life is affected by providing significant care, assistance or support at home to a family member with an illness, mental health problem, drug/ alcohol addiction or disability
Crossroads Young Carers
We primarily provide social support as our young carers meet others in similar situations, through outings. We also run workshops to equip them with different skills.
We recognise the vital role young people play in caring for an ill/disabled family member on a daily basis. We have helped over 3000 young carers across Northern Ireland since 1994.
Crossroads Young Carers:
- Identifies young carers
- Offers support services to young carers and their families
- Reduces social exclusion for young carers
- Reduces physical, emotional and social problems among young carers
Raises awareness about the issue of young carers amongst health, education, social work and leisure agencies
Young carers frequently do everything adult carers do, including:
- Household chores – e.g. cooking, cleaning, ironing, washing, shopping Budgeting for the household – e.g. for rent, bills, food
- Nursing responsibilities – e.g. administering medication, giving injections, changing dressings
- Intimate personal care e.g. bathing, toileting, washing
- Providing emotional support
Many young carers are trying to juggle these responsibilities along with school work, exams, trying to have a social life and, for older young carers, experiencing the emotional roller-coaster of adolescence.
In Northern Ireland
- 1 in 6 people are a carer
- There are over 8000 young carers
- The average age of a young carer is 12