Young carers can support a loved one or member of their local community who, due to illness, disability, a mental health problem, or an addiction, cannot cope without their care.
Young carers from armed forces and veteran families will do many things that their civilian peers do, but there are aspects of their lives that will prove very different.
Some young carers experience times when a parent is deployed overseas, which can usually last anywhere from 6-8 months. This may mean they take on additional responsibilities to support their parent who remains at home, as well as their siblings.
Sometimes a parent will leave the armed forces because of a life-changing physical or psychological injury. This major change can happen very quickly, which means young carers need to adapt to meet further support needs.
Forces Children Scotland’s provides financial support to enhance independence, to gain qualifications or to participate in activities as a break from your caring responsibilities.
We work in partnership with The Scottish Veterans Fund to make things happen and we have provided a couple of short case studies about recent grants we have awarded.
Please note, we have amended details to protect identities of the families.
Poppy (aged 10) supports her mum, who has long-term health challenges, and her dad who lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Due to the cost of living crisis, the family have faced very tough decisions about their limited finances. Forces Children Scotland provided a Young Carer grant to ensure Poppy could continue to attend her dance lessons which give her a welcome break from her caring role.
Tom (aged 5) and Katie (aged 6) help to look after an elder sister who has Global Development Delay.
Her condition means that the household can often be very loud and chaotic, presenting considerable challenges to many aspects of day-to-day life. Tom and Katie received grants from Forces Children Scotland to purchase tablets that they could use for quiet downtime from caring responsibilities as well as to provide a further method of logging into the school network in order to manage their coursework.
Laura (15) has autism and impaired hearing who supports her mother, a Royal Navy veteran, who has complex medical conditions.
Laura takes on further responsibility when her father, who currently serves in the Royal Navy, is deployed at sea. Normally her dad takes her on holiday over the summer; however this year he will be on active duty, so a grant was awarded for her to attend a week long outward bounds residential to engage with fellow young people, have some fun and take deserved respite from her caring responsibilities.