Young Carers in Focus (YCiF) is an exciting opportunity for young carers to feel empowered and supported to have a voice with a wider audience.

Funded by a Youth in Focus grant from the Big Lottery Fund, this four-year (2012-2016) programme is establishing a national network of young carers aged 10-25.

Led and informed by young people, YCiF allows young carers to communicate, share stories and campaign for the things that matter most to them.

The YCiF network was developed by young carer ‘champions’, who have received training and skills to help them raise awareness about the issues they and other young carers face.

Not only are they are reaching out to other young carers across the country, they are also informing policy and decision-makers about the changes they want to see at local and national level.

The key aim is to ensure that participating young carers will have improved resilience, confidence, skills and knowledge. This can improve young people’s well-being and quality of life, particularly during transitional stages in their education as they move towards independence.

A safe social network for young carers

A central element of the YCiF programme is the country’s first safe social network for young carers.

This online community makes it easy for young people to participate in the programme, communicate with a wider audience, identify the issues young carers face, and have a cohesive national voice.

The pages are on the Makewaves website, which is widely used in schools, colleges and youth groups. This has helped to identify young carers in different environments.

How to join the YCiF network

Young carers projects and services can get involved by creating their own 'site' on the YCiF social network.

If you are a project leader or teacher, register now so that young carers in your group or school can create their own pages.

The Children's Society is delivering YCiF in partnership with DigitalME, YMCA Fairthorne Group, Rethink Mental Illness and The Fatherhood Institute.

Read more and get involved

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