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Supports for Young Carers

By June 9, 2024June 13th, 2024No Comments
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If you have any questions about supports available to you as a young carer, you can chat online to a trained Youth Information Officer or leave us a message and we can get back to you.

Young people with caring responsibilties

Do you help or support someone, for example a parent, a brother/sister, a grandparent, another relative or friend who is in need for care, support or supervision? Are you between 13 and 25?

You might be a young carer and this page is for you!

‘Young carers (13-18)and young adult carers (18-25) provide care for a parent, sibling, friend or other close relation who has an illness or disability which may include mental illness or a problem with substance misuse. Young carers provide support in their family by helping with taking on extra, usually adult, responsibilities including dispensing medication, feeding, personal care, dressing, or making sure the bills have been paid.

The level of care provided may vary depending on the family situation and the needs of the person being cared for. They may also help the family in other ways, like looking after brothers and sisters, shopping for food, doing extra washing, or preparing dinner’ Care Alliance.

More information.

Useful resources and articles.

Young carers card:  Family Carers Ireland offers a FREE Young Carers Card which gives young people with caring responsibilities aged 10-24 years access to a variety of great deals and discounts including offers from SkyPark, Zipit Forest Adventure, Grafton Barbers, Omniplex Cinemas, Gym Plus and many more (see below). More information.

E learning modules for young carers: Family Carers Ireland has developed a suite of eLearning courses to give young carers information and guidance on the topics of Minding your Mental Health, Self-Care for Young Carers, Assertiveness for Young Carers and Understanding Stress and Anxiety for Young Carers. Each course provides an introduction and overview of the topic, and allows you to work through the information at a time and pace that suits you. More information.

Young Carers Online Programme; gives small groups of young carers the opportunity to participate in themed discussions with a qualified psychotherapist in a safe and secure online setting. At the end of each session young carers will be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to help deal with these issues and topics discussed. The workshop themes include mental health, isolation, stress and anxiety, anger management, family conflict, bullying and study skills among others. More information.

Booklet for young carers: Read here

Spunout article on being a young carer: Read here.

Young carers video: watch here.

Coping with Cancer as a young carer: More information.

Organisations that support Young Carers

Family Carers Ireland – Young Carers Office Ph: 057 937 0208 or If you are a young carer or parent and would like to speak to our Young Carer Support Manager, please don’t be afraid to get in touch. You can email in confidence, or you can call our FREEPHONE Careline on 1800 24 07 24. More information.

Care Alliance Ireland works with organisations to provide information and support to Family Carers.Phone: 01-874 7776 ; More information.

Join a Local Youth Group

Young Carer Groups; Family Carers Ireland operates a network of Young Carer Groups across the country. These Groups offer information, advice and practical supports as well as giving young carers an opportunity to come together providing important emotional and peer support.

Local Youth Group; Crosscare Youth Services support young people (aged 10- 24yrs) throughout the greater Dublin/ Wicklow area. The Youth Service provide friendly and inclusive spaces open to all young people. Find out if there is one in your local area through Crosscare Youth Services.

There are Youth Services all around Ireland run by different organisations.  Contact your local Youth Information Officer to find out where is your nearest, and find out other local supports and information available.

Financial support

If you are caring for someone, a disabled child or adult or an older person, you may qualify for a carer’s payment.

The two main social welfare payments for carers providing full-time care are Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Benefit. You may also qualify for the Annual Carer’s Support Grant.

You may get Carer’s Benefit if you are 16 or over; and you have enough social insurance (PRSI) contributions among other criteria. You may Carer’s Allowance if you are 18 or over; and satisfy a means test among other criteria

If you are getting Carer’s Benefit/ Allowance, you may be able to work (this includes self-employment and voluntary work) and/or take part in a training or education course for up to 18.5 hours a week.

Find out about the different payments and benefits for carers here.

Accessing College in Ireland - student supports

If you are getting Carer’s Benefit/ Allowance, you may be able to take part in training or education course for up to 18.5 hours a week. Many ‘full-time’ College Courses have tuition time that is less than 18.5 hours so contact the Access Office of the College you are interested in going to college.

Education Advice Services: 

Young Carers in Education: Family Carers Ireland offer support to young adult carers in further and higher education include information, advocacy, support with accessing financial support (such as the Susi Grant), and emergency care planning. Contact our Young Carers Office on 057 93 70208 to find out more. More information.

Access Offices: Many Colleges and Third level institutions have put in place supports to make further and higher education more accessible to young carers. Contact the Access Office of the relevant College.

Further education and training (FET) supports the active inclusion of all individuals, including young carers, to participate in FET to enable every individual to fully participate in society.

Accessing College in Ireland - student financial supports

Student Grants (SUSI Grant)

This is the main source of support available for full-time students attending post leaving certificate (PLC), undergraduate and post-graduate courses. It  gives priority to those on the lowest incomes and who are on specific social welfare payments  through the special rate of maintenance grant. A student grant may consist of a maintenance grant and a fee grant which covers the cost of the student contribution towards fees.

1916 Bursary: The purpose of this bursary is to encourage participation and success by students who are most socio-economically disadvantaged and who are from groups most under-represented in higher education, including young carers; If applying as a young carer, you must be confirmed by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) as holding a long-term means-tested carer’s allowance). You can also demonstrate that you would qualify for the highest level of the SUSI grant and/or are in receipt of a Department of Social Protection (DSP) long-term means-tested social welfare payment. Apply directly to the institution you are attending.

Student Assistance Fund: provides financial support to eligible full or part-time students who are experiencing financial difficulties. Students can apply for the Student Assistance Fund to help with either temporary or ongoing financial difficulties. The Student Assistance Fund is designed to provide a source of financial support in addition to the SUSI grant, but student who are not in receipt of SUSI can also apply to be considered. The Student Assistance Fund is administered on a strictly confidential basis and each application will be considered on the basis of the application form and the supporting documentation provided.

Education Access Route

HEAR scheme is a college and university scheme which offers places on reduced points and extra college support. Young Carers can apply online to CAO.

DARE scheme  offers places on reduced points and provides extra college support for young people with a disability who are applying for college/university.

HEAR and DARE application advice clinics take place nationwide and notices as to where they will take place are available on line at Where young people are in receipt of a grant, training allowance/ other, this will be noted in their assessment of need.

Accessing the Health Service

Who can help and what do they do : A quick guide to some of the people who help families and are usually part of your local Primary Care Team . Teams are made up of Nurses, Speech Therapists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Home Support Workers and in some areas your Doctor can be part of the Team too.

Mental Health Supports

As a young carer you can find helping someone very rewarding, but sometimes, being a young carer can get too much to deal with on your own. Talk to your teacher, youth workers, college counsellor/chaplin or GP and seek support.

Mental Health Supports:

More information

For more information you can check out the education and employment sections of the website.

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