Identify and support young carers in your school with our useful resources

Teenage girl in school helping male pupil

Officially, there are more than 166,000 young carers in England - in reality however, this number is much bigger as so many young carers remain hidden from view. We desperately want to do more so that every young carer is identified and supported at school.

We also know that there are hundreds of thousands of young people who try to cope with a parent or family member’s alcohol or drug problem and many are left to cope alone.

A young carer is someone under 18 who helps look after someone - either a family member or friend - who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.

We know that being a young carer can affect a young person’s health, social life, and their experience of education. Identifying and supporting young carers is vital to ensuring this vulnerable pupil group, specifically mentioned by Ofsted, are able to attend, achieve and enjoy school in the same way as their peers.

If you think that a young person in your school might be a carer, please take time to speak with them and stop and listen. If necessary, you can refer the family to your local authority for a young carers assessment. There may also be specific young carers services locally you can make a referral to.

What you can do

1. Apply for the Young Carers in Schools AwardThrough our Young Carers in Schools Award, in partnership with Carers Trust, we support primary and secondary schools to put policies in place to identify and provide appropriate support for pupils who are carers. 

2. Visit our young carers siteThis has links to a range of toolkits, resources, research and information to support you in identifying and supporting young carers in your school, as well as data on the scale of young caring across the country. 

3. Watch our video about Molly:

4. Access our substance misuse siteOur substance misuse website provides huge amounts of information, research and support for young people affected by substance misuse – either personally or through a family member.

This site has a specific school resources section, with a range of tools and activities to help you talk to your students about this. 

The animation below gives voice to a young person in one of our services and allows them to talk about their experiences of substance misuse.

Activity ideas

  • June: Carers Week
  • November: Alcohol awareness week. 

Useful links