Am I A Young Carer?

What is a Young Carer?

Young carers are children and young people, age 17 and under, who provide unpaid care to a family member because of a disability, illness, mental health condition, or a drug/ alcohol addiction.

Common tasks for a young carer may include practical tasks (eg cooking, housework, shopping, managing the family budget and collecting prescriptions) personal care (eg bathing, toileting dressing, helping with mobility). Some are also required to give emotional support, for a parent experiencing mental health and/or drug & alcohol problems. 

It is estimated that there are more than 700,000 young carers in the UK.

Young Carers are often hidden, isolated and unidentified; a hidden army- caring without support.

Why do children need to care for someone?

An illness or disability can stop an adult from caring for themselves and mean that a child needs to take on caring responsibilities. Reasons for this might include;

  • Disability (Physical, Learning Difficulties, Sensory)

  • Illness (Serious, long term or terminal)

  • Substance misuse (Drugs, Alcohol)

  • Mental wellbeing

What do Young Carers do?

A young person may do one or more of any of the following types of caring, which can have a huge impact on their lives. They have to undertake these tasks because of someone else’s illness or disability. They are caring tasks usually carried out by an adult or paid Health Care professional.

  • Domestic (cleaning, cooking, washing up, washing clothes, ironing, shopping, looking after siblings alone, taking siblings to school, paying bills, repairs/ gardening)

  • Emotional (motivating, keeping safe, spending time with, keeping company, making feel wanted/needed)

  • Personal (all aspects of dressing, washing, toileting, feeding, other tasks such as hair brushing, make up, shaving etc.)

Get the facts about Young Carers

  • The average age of a Young Carers is 12½, but then can be as young as 4 years old

  • The Male/Female Ratio of young carers is 40%/60%

  • Young Carers can care for mums, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and in some cases other family members/friends

  • Young carers are unpaid, they care as family members and receive no payment for the caring they do

  • You do not need to feel scared, ashamed or embarrassed of caring. If you think you are a carer, you are entitled to support. Don’t stay hidden.

If you think yourself or someone you know might be a young carer and you would like support, then email us at or click on the area you live in here for support in your local area.