Home » Young Carers

Young Carers

The role of a young carer

A young carer is a child or young person, under the age of 18, who takes on responsibilities at home to provide support to family or friends who could not manage without this help due to illness, diability, neurological conditions, dementia, learning difficulties, a mental health issue or an addiction.   

The duties of a young carer

The types of tasks that a young carer undertakes are very varied and could include:

  • Practical household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, washing up, ironing, paying bills and financial management
  • Personal care such as bathing, dressing, lifting, administering medication and collecting prescriptions
  • Emotional support such as listening, offering advice and friendship

Who can help?

Not all young carers want support from a specialist young carer’s service. There are other ways that young carers can get support.

  • Speak to your school – schools may be able to support with getting homework or coursework done, provide a time out card to provide support when things are difficult in class, and give someone to talk to.
  • Ask to be there when professionals visit your home – professionals may be able to offer more services so that you do not have to do so much, and make sure that the care you are providing is safe.
  • Speak to your parent or carer – communication is key; let your parent or carer know how you feel and if things are becoming too difficult or causing you stress and upset. They would not want you to feel like this and together you may be able to come up with an alternative solution.
  • Speak to a youth worker – youth workers will be able to offer support and provide you with information on where to get help
  • Speak to other family members – again communication is key; family members may be able to help out with the day-to-day duties.