A young carer is someone under the age of 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol. This does not have to be a grown up person that is being looking after, but can include helping a parent or friend to look after a disabled child or young person.

Some of the reasons a young carer may be helping to look after someone:

  • The person has a physical illness or disability.
  • The person has a mental health condition.
  • The person has drug or alcohol problems that impacts on their life.

There are many more reasons but this is just a small example why a young person may be caring for a family member or friend. The young person may live in a one parent family and the parent they live with needs to be looked after. The young person is likely not to see themselves as a carer but feel that it is their responsibility as it is just them and the parent.

Some things a young carer might do