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Young carers

A young carer is someone who looks after another person. Caring for someone might involve things you do every day like cooking and cleaning or helping them with their medication. Or you might have to do much more if your family member can't do some things themselves.


Video: A day in the life of a young carer | BBC News

More information for young carers

More information about young carers

A young carer might look after someone because they're sick or because they have a disability or mental health issues. Or, if a parent or family member has an alcohol or drug problem, they may be unable to care for themselves or anyone else, so a young carer might help look after their siblings, for example.

Some young people aren't sure if they can actually call themselves a 'young carer'. But even if you aren't the only one who is doing the looking after, you can be considered a young carer. Especially if you're doing a lot more than just helping out occasionally and it takes up a lot of your time.

Being a young carer can be difficult and may cause you to feel anxious, sad, isolated or even depressed. There are lots of reasons why you might be finding things hard if you are a young carer.

Things you may be worried about

  • the health of the person you care for
  • your schoolwork or exams

  • money, finding a job or your future

  • not being able to meet and go out with friends

  • feeling like you don't have any other choice

  • being emotionally abused by the family member you are caring for

  • having to look after brothers or sisters

It’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are more than 166,000 young carers aged 5-17 in the UK*.


*Childrenssociety.org.uk
 

Support resources

Self-help materials

  • The Children’s Society works with children and young people and has lots of advice and resources for young carers on its website. You can live chat with the Supporter Care Team who are there to help from 10am-4pm Monday to Friday.

Useful apps

 

HeadSpace is a personal guide to health and happiness. Designed to help you focus, breathe, stay calm, perform at your best, and get a better night’s rest through the life-changing skills of relaxation, meditation and mindfulness.

Calm is an app for meditation and sleep. Designed to help lower stress, lessen anxiety, and assist in a more restful sleep with guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing techniques, masterclasses and relaxing music.​​​​​​

7 cups Free anonymous emotional support and counselling from trained active listeners.

SAM – Self-help for Anxiety Management is an app that offers a range of self-help methods for people who are serious about learning to manage their anxiety.

Useful books


Visit the Young Minds website

Young Minds are a UK charity fighting for children and young people's mental health.

The Young Minds website has lots of really useful information about young people's mental health. Watch videos of real life stories, read blog posts from young people, learn more about mental health and find resources and support.

Explore the Young Minds young carer webpage (opens in new window) to find our more about being a young carer and what support is available. 

Young Minds logo

Further information

Much of the content on this website has been put together using resources sourced from a range of different charities and organisations.

Click on the logos below to go to each organisations website to explore more about mental health. 

Kooth logo Youth Access logo
Togetherall logo Mind logo
Childline logo Papyrus logo
The Mix logo Samaritans logo