Young Carers

Who is young carer?

Young carers are children and young people who look after someone in their family who:

  • has an illness
  • has a disability
  • is affected by mental ill-health
  • is affected by alcohol or substance misuse.

Young carers often take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.

What do young carers do?

The tasks young carers carry out can vary depending on:

  • the nature of the illness or disability of the person they are looking after
  • the level and frequency of need for care
  • the structure of the family as a whole

A young carer may do some or all of the following:

  • Practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping
  • Physical care, such as lifting, or helping a family member on stairs or with physiotherapy
  • Personal care, such as dressing, washing, or helping with toileting needs
  • Managing the family budget, collecting benefits and prescriptions
  • Administering medication
  • Provide emotional support
  • Interpreting, due to hearing or speech impairment or because English is not the family's first language

Some young carers may undertake high levels of care, but for some it may be frequent low levels of care. Either can impact heavily on a child or young person.