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Being a young carer

Are you a young carer?

A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who helps look after a relative who has a condition, such as a disability, illness, mental health condition, or a drug or alcohol problem.

The majority of young carers look after one of their parents or care for a brother or sister. They do jobs in and around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, or helping someone to get dressed and move around.

Young carers may need to help a relative deal with their feelings by talking to them, listening and trying to understand their problems.

The difference between young carers and other young people who help in the home is that young carers are often responsible for someone else in their family in a way that most other young people aren't.

Some children give a lot of physical help to a brother or sister who is disabled or ill. If you do, you are a sibling carer (sibling is a word for brother or sister). Along with physical help for your sibling, you may also be giving emotional support to both your sibling and your parents.

A young carer might also care for a grandparent or someone else from their extended family.

Watch the video (right) to find out how other young carers cope with school.


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Page last reviewed: 19/08/2013

Next review due: 19/08/2015

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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