You are here:

Being a young carer

About young carers

This section is written for and about young people who are caring. They're usually called young carers.

Young carers are children or young people who look after someone in their family who has an illness, a disability, a mental health problem or a substance misuse problem. They may be taking on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that an adult would normally do.

This section helps you find out if you're a young carer. It looks at the different things young carers have to do, and where you can get help with them.

If you're a young carer, you may be looking after a parents, caring for a brother or sister, or other relatives. In each case, there may be special things you have to think about.

A young carer's extra responsibilities might include lifting someone to help them get around, helping an adult to cope with an addiction, and spending time helping a brother or sister to play. You and your family can ask for more help if you find yourself in this situation.

As a young carer it can be difficult to know what help is available and how you can get it. Health professionals such as GPs, or other professionals such as social workers who may visit the family home, can be a useful source of information. For further information about the different people who can help young carers, see Who can help?.

Being a young carer can affect many areas of a young person’s life, including school and college, socialising and how you may feel about being a young carer.

You can watch the video below to find out how other young carers cope with school and how they chill out.

Young carers

Two young carers talk about splitting their time between going to school and caring for their parents, and the support they've had from young carers projects.

Media last reviewed: 14/12/2012

Next review due: 14/12/2015

Ratings

How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 39 ratings

All ratings

Add your rating

Comments

The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

bingbang said on 21 April 2013

hi, I am a young carer for my mum, I have been since I was seven but wasn't signed up till I was 16, being a young carer is hard at times but with the support and help it makes life a little bit easier, I have just turned 18 and I was worried that I would no longer be a young carer but because of the amount of support I give to my mum I am still in need of help, young carers are setting up a group to the older teens that are 18-21 I cant wait for this to begin as I have made loads of new friends and finaly feel I can live my life again. because of my mums illness I never had a chance to be a child, but thanks to young carers I feel I haven't missed as much as I actually have. I just wanted to say a huge thankyou :) x

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Page last reviewed: 27/06/2011

Next review due: 27/06/2013

Call Carers Direct on 0300 123 1053

Confidential information and advice for carers.

Lines are open 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday (except bank holidays), 11am to 4pm at weekends. Request a free call back or an interpreted call back in one of more than 170 languages including ربي, বাংলা, 中文, Français, ગુજરાતી, Polski, Português, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, Soomaali, Español, Türkçe and .اردو.

You can talk to an adviser live online or send a query by email.

Find out more about the Carers Direct helpline.

Teen girls 15-18

Read about teen girl health issues, including healthy eating, skin problems and having sex for the first time

Teen boys 15-18

Turning into a couch potato? Want the truth about drugs and safer sex? Find out how you can get yourself sorted