Young carers

Who is a young carer?

A young carer is someone who is under the age of 18 and takes responsibility for looking after someone (usually their mother, father, brother or sister) who is:

  • ill
  • disabled
  • elderly
  • suffering mental distress
  • misusing drugs and/or alcohol 

A young carer would have to carry out a number of tasks, including:

  • General care (such as giving medication, changing dressings, helping with mobility
  • Domestic tasks (such as cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, shopping)
  • Emotional support (such as listening to and supporting people)
  • Intimate care (such as dressing, washing and helping with toilet requirements)
  • Child care (such as helping with younger siblings)
  • Other care (such as helping with household and other administration tasks, bill paying, accompanying to the doctor's or hospital) 

What to do if you are a young carer

If you think that you, or someone you know, may be a young carer, it is important that you tell us about your situation so that you - and the person you care for - can get the help and support you need.

You have the right to have your needs assessed. You should contact our Information, Advice and Assistance Team (IAA) by telephone on 0808 100 1727 or by e-mail on

They will have a conversation with you about your situation and then you can have a chat about your caring role with the right person..

What kind of help will I get?

We will work with you to help you enjoy your childhood by giving you:

  • emotional support and advice
  • support to get help at home
  • advice on taking break from caring
  • the opportunity to take part in fun activities
  • the chance to meet other young people and share experiences
  • help with your concerns or difficulties
  • help to access education 

What is caring like for a young person?

Young carers often take on grown-up responsibilities. This means that they often miss out on the things that other children may take for granted, such as opportunities to learn, play and have fun.


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