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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Caring for young carers

Caring for young carers

Resources for young people that find themselves in a caring role



News: Safe, Sorted and Supported

A guide to help young people plan aheadSafe sorted and supported

The second in the series of booklets produced by the Gloucestershire Young Carers.  Particular thanks go to Hannah, Kaydee, Owen and Sadie who helped produce the leaflet. This booklet allows young carers to plan when things go wrong or when they are worried about someone who is unwell or needs to go to hospital, or for when there is no-one in the house to look after them.



Minds, Myths and ME


Mind, Myths and MEA fact pack for young people who live with someone with a mental illness. This A5 booklet was designed and produced by four Gloucestershire young carers, using their own personal experiences to help others in the same situation.

"We decided to write the pack because we felt that there was very little information around for young people like us. It inludes all sorts of information that we would like to have been given. We hope you find it useful."

Becca, Elliott, Kieron and Laura

For ages 12+

For further information, please visit the Gloucestershire Young Carers website

Susie's story, aged 11


Caring for young carersSusie is 11 and her school attendance is irregular. When in school, she is often tired and she is often very untidyly dressed and her hair looks dirty. She is quite a “bossy” girl and has difficulty making friends. Some of the younger children feel bullied and intimidated by her, and the school is getting more and more worried about her behaviour.


Mum is a single parent and has twice been invited to come to school to discuss Susie’s behaviour and attendance, but she has not turned up on either occasion. An Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) is allocated to the case and, on making a home visit, discovers that Mum is suffering from bipolar illness. Mum has medication but does not always take it, which results in good and bad days and accounts for Susie’s erratic attendance. The reason for Susie’s bossy behaviour also soon becomes apparent as she needs to “boss” mum to get her to take her medication, and as well as looking after Mum’s well being.She is trying to be a parent to her 9 year old brother Jake.


The Whole Family Plan. The local Community Mental Heath team (CMHT) review mum's case and assess both the management of her illness and her needs as a parent. CMHT set up monitoring process to ensure medication is taken. Susie’s mum agrees to start attending a voluntary drop in day centre once a week to seek support and advice on self-managing her condition. Both children are assessed under the Common Assessment Framework and support is offered to support them.

The Behaviour support team meets with the school to implement a plan to support Susie to reduce her “ bossy” behaviour and monitor her attendance. She is also given learning support to help to catch up with work that she has missed. The Educational Welfare Officer also contacts the local young carers project to see if Susie can get support from them. It is decided that the services she needs are befriending and to go to the homework club. The project will also give her information about bipolar illness. Jake is offered a place at the local church Saturday activity club and is also given information about bipolar illness.

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For a catalogue of public education materials or copies of our leaflets contact: 

Leaflets Department,

The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 

21 Prescot Street, London E1 8BB. 

Telephone: 020 7235 2351 x 2552


The Royal College of Psychiatrists is a charity registered in England and Wales (228636) and in Scotland (SC038369).