Find out what a young carer is, and the support available to help you

Three young carers in a park smiling

What is a young carer?

A young carer is a person under the age of 18 who helps to look after a relative with a disability or illness - this might be a physical or a mental health illness that can impact on your life.

‘I didn’t know that I was a young carer back then. I was just thinking, 'I’ve got to deal with this.'’ - Abi

What do young carers do?

Having a parent, grandparent or sibling with a disability or illness can make a difference to the way you feel and talk about things. You may be taking on extra tasks like shopping, cooking and cleaning. You might have to physically help the person you care for -to wash, get dressed or move about. You might be supporting their well-being and mental health.  

Support for young carers

If you are taking on a caring role for someone then you are entitled to an assessment of your own needs and how your caring role may be impact on your own health and worries.

If you are under 18 and are a young carer you can request, or be referred for an assessment of your needs under the Children and Families Act 2014. This can support you to talk and think about what you could be offered, or what support could be offered to the person you care for, to reduce your caring role. This should also result in an assessment of the person you care for being carried out. These assessments should result in a plan that looks to reduce or prevent you from taking on inappropriate caring roles that negatively impact upon your own well-being.

When you are ready to start thinking about the future you can also be offered a ‘transition assessment’ under the Care Act 2014. This is a chance for you to discuss what you want for the future, including whether you go in to higher education or employment and what support you will need for you or for the person you care for to achieve your goals. 

You can find out more about your rights to an assessment on our resource pages or by accessing Carers Trust Know your Rights booklet.

Financial support for young carers

Worrying about a loved one and how you’re going to care for them can put a real strain on your day-to-day life. And when it comes to managing money things can get even tougher. 

Learn about the financial support available for young carers and how this funding can be accessed.

financial support for young carers

Listen to the stories of others

It's important to remember that there are other children and young people out there who have been through similar experiences to you. Listen below to the voice of a young person we have worked with who shared their story.