Young carers

A young person looking after someone

More than 166,000 children across the country are young carers, forced to grow up early and miss out on the same opportunities as other children because they care for family members who are disabled or chronically ill, or for adults who are misusing alcohol or drugs.

According to the 2011 census data, the number of young carers rose by 20% compared with ten years before.

Some of these children are not only losing their childhoods they are also missing out on vital school and training, which will have a negative impact on the rest of their lives. Please read Hidden from View: Experiences of young carers in England.

We help young carers by making sure they can have breaks from their responsibilities and by giving young carers a platform to share their experiences and raise awareness about the issues they face.

Supporting young carers

Our Include programme works with voluntary and statutory services across the country to support young carers. We campaign for change and promote best practice with central and local government.

We aim to:

  • develop a national focus for young carers, their families and those who work to support them
  • promote common standards.

Working together with a variety of organisations we have:

  • created a contacts database of young carers projects
  • organised training events and regional conferences  
  • published guidance, leaflets and information packs
  • organised annual Young Carers Festivals (see below)
  • developed online resources
  • produced a training DVD
  • supported children and young people making presentations to ministers and parliamentarians.

Visit Include’s website to find a wealth of information and resources for young carers, families and professionals.

Young people having fun at the Young Carers Festival
The Young Carers Festivals provide young people with the opportunity to have fun, relax, socialise and forget their responsibilities for a weekend.
Young Carers in Focus is a national network which allows young carers to communicate, share stories and campaign for the things that matter most to them.