There are more than 800,000 young carers across the country. We raise awareness of their needs, campaign for policy change, support schools, and work to see that these young people get the future and support they deserve

young carer hidden England

A young carer featured in the Hidden exhibition

Who are young carers?

The official definition of a young carer is '…a person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person (of any age, except where that care is provided for payment, pursuant to a contract or as voluntary work).' Children and Families Act 2014 Section 96.

These young carers are 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.

The number of recognised young carers in the UK has risen by more than 10,000 in four years, prompting concerns that they are taking up the slack from increasingly pressured adult social care services. 

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. Find out more in our report Hidden from View: Experiences of young carers in England.

Include: Supporting young carers

Our Include service 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 also 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.

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

Hidden exhibition national tour

Hidden is a compelling portrait exhibition that tells the story of England’s young carers. The exhibition launched in February 2015 in London and toured England through early 2017.

In Hidden, award-winning photographer and former young carer Max Alexander captures the resilience, determination and aspiration of 24 children and teens who care for a loved one. The aim was to make sure the experiences of young carers do not remain hidden from society.

Jo Whiley, Jade Ewen and Richard McCourt supported the exhibition and have their own stories to tell. Read Jo Whiley's and Jade Ewen's stories. 

Young people at Young Carers Festival

The Young Carers Festival: the original festival for and with young carers

The Young Carers Festivals provide young people with the opportunity to have fun, relax, socialise and forget their responsibilities for a weekend.

Teenage boy young carer school mentor

Young Carers in Schools Award

Young Carers in Schools is an England-wide initiative that equips schools to support young carers and awards good practice.

Girls talking


The Include service is home to the national young carers’ initiative, reaching out to young carers within all communities.