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Young Carers

What Makes a Young Person a Young Carer?

A young carer is a child or young person who provides regular and on-going care and emotional support to a family member with physical or mental health problems, has a disability, or misuses drugs or alcohol. This does not mean the everyday and occasional help around the home that many young people are often expected to give within families. The key feature of being a 'young carer' is that the caring responsibilities continues over time and can make a young carer vulnerable, when the level of care and their responsibility to the person they look after, becomes excessive or inappropriate and risks impacting on emotional or physical wellbeing, educational achievement and life chances.

Young carers often:

  • Help family members to get up, get washed, get dressed or help them with toileting
  • Do lots of household chores like shopping, cleaning, cooking
  • Stay in the house a lot to provide emotional support. Also looking after brothers and sisters
  • Help with lifting, dispensing medication, sorting household bills
  • Support a family member who misuses drug or alcohol.


Last reviewed: 13/08/2019


As well as the Young Carers section of the Carers Trust website (aimed more at professionals/adults) they have also set up with the aim of helping and supporting Carers under the age of 19.