An expert answers the most googled questions from young carers after an increase in online searches across the UK.
Child carers provide vital support for their loved ones – and many don’t even realise they’re carers.
New research from Lottie (a care home marketplace) has found that online searches from young carers looking for help has significantly increased over the last 12 months, including a 267% increase in searches for ‘young carers over 16’.
- 50% increase in online searches on Google for ‘young carers services’
- 24% increase in online searches on Google for ‘young carers’ and ‘young carers support’
After a surge of online searches in the last year and with an estimated 800,000 young carers in the UK, Will Donnelly, Care Expert and Co-Founder of Lottie, has answered the most googled questions to raise awareness of the support available.
“There’s been a worrying increase from young carers searching for support online, so it’s important to raise awareness of the help available to families. The pandemic left many people vulnerable and isolated, which may have led to an increase in young carers across the UK.
With more young carers turning to online networks for support (as opposed to sharing their worries with teachers or family members), it shows that there is still a stigma surrounding young carers.
Recognising you’re a young carer isn’t always easy, either. If you’re aged 18 or younger and you’re helping someone at home because they can’t look after themselves (for instance helping someone wash, cook or look after a sibling and making sure they’re safe), you’re a carer.
Every school and community should have clear signposting about the local support available in the area for anyone that helps an older adult or parent. Through this, we can raise awareness of what it’s like to be a young carer, and actively reduce any stigma surrounding disabilities, care, and mental health.”
Will Donnelly – Care Expert and Co-founder at Lottie – answers the most common questions googled by young carers over the last 12 months:
Can young carers get paid?
Yes – the government currently offer a Carer’s Allowance, which is paid every week. If you’re aged 16 or over, you spend at least 35 hours caring for someone and you’re not in either full-time education or earning more than £132 a week (net), you’ll be able to claim Carer’s Allowance.
You could get £69.70 per week – you don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for, either.
What are young carers entitled to?
Alongside Carer’s Allowance benefits, you’ll automatically get National Insurance credits (these can help to fill gaps in your National Insurance record).
You may be entitled to apply for more benefits, including extra support from your local council, Universal Credit, Income Support, or grants/bursaries to help pay for courses and training.
How can I claim young carers allowance?
It’s a simple process – head to the Government website and make a claim. However, before you apply, make sure you have:
– Your National Insurance number
– Course details if you’re studying
– The date of birth, address, and National Insurance number of the person you’re caring for
If you’re unsure, speak to your local council and they’ll be able to support you with your application.
What is a young carers assessment?
Put simply, an assessment can determine whether it’s appropriate for you to care for someone else – and asks you whether you want to be a carer. A social worker will ask you a few questions about your wishes and do the same for the person you’re caring for.
If you’re aged 16 or over and you’re not in full-time education, a social worker can support you with help finding work. Getting an assessment can help you find out what’s available as a young carer – and to discuss alternatives if you’re struggling with the responsibility, or your health and wellbeing is being impacted.
Remember – there is always support available. There are lots of care homes aimed to provide round-the-clock support for your loved one, or you should consider home care, so your loved one stays in their familiar surroundings.
What support is available for young carers?
Young carers take on a lot of different responsibilities – and it can be too much to cope with, both for you as the young carer and your family. From financial help (like Carer’s Allowance) to organisations providing emotional support, there is lots of support available.
Barnardo’s provide lots of services to support young carers, including activities and outings with other carers, drop-in sessions where carers can take a break, and talking to school/workplaces about the extra responsibilities of young carers.
Action For Children and Sidekick are other organisations that provide great support for young carers. Events, outings, and meet-ups are regularly held across the country by Action For Children, so you can enjoy being a child or teen and taker a break away from caring responsibilities.
Unfortunately, there is still some stigma surrounding young carers and their responsibilities, so Sidekick offers an anonymous and confidential text services for any young carers aged between 13 and 18. You can message any time and about anything that’s worrying you.
Finally, if you are unable to cope with looking after a family member – or their condition gets worse – it may be time to look for additional support, whether that’s from home care support or moving into a care home. A young carer’s assessment – and your local council – can support with this process.
The most important thing to remember is that there is always support available, and you’re not alone.
*Internal analysis created by Lottie via Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends over the last 12 months. Full data set is available on request.
Disgruntled by their own experience of finding a care home for their grandmother, brothers, Chris and Will Donnelly launched Lottie in July 2021 – a digital elderly care platform that connects care seekers to the UK’s best care homes at a fair price.
Blending smart technology with market leading human expertise Lottie makes finding the perfect care home for yourself or for a loved one less stressful, quicker and more affordable.
The care homes listed on Lottie are handpicked and have been vetted by Lottie’s team of care experts based on their care quality, home culture and ethical practices. From outstanding care ratings and 5* customer reviews to luxury facilities and thriving home experiences, Lottie partners with the UK’s best care homes that offer an enhanced resident experience and home culture like no other.
Chris Donnelly, a Forbes Europe 30 under 30 alumni, previously founded and successfully sold luxury digital agency Verb Brands while Will Donnelly spent 5 years at CBRE, where he advised on £2.5bn of healthcare transaction and established himself as one of the Europe’s leading M&A advisers in the health and social care markets.
The company’s pre-launch financiers included Tom Blomfield (Founder of Monzo), Victoria van Lennep (Founder of Lendable), Jacob Haddad (Founder of AccuRx), Jamie Bolding (Founder of Jungle Creations) and Dominic McGregor (Founder of Social Chain/Fearless Ventures).
The digital marketplace is leading the global transformation to a modern and sustainable care sector, where care home living is designed to support people in their later years to live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilled later life.
Choose a Lottie care home today via: lottie.org