Supporting young carers

Young carers are children who look after a friend or family member. Their extra responsibilities often mean they miss out on school and hanging out with friends. It can sideline their whole childhood. We help them find balance, give them space to enjoy being young and support them into adulthood so they can pursue their dreams outside of caring.

Facts about young carers


young carers aged 5-17 care for an adult or family member in the UK


of young carers reported having a mental health problem


of young carers aged 11-15 miss or have difficulties at school due to their caring responsibilities

What is a young carer? 

A young carer is someone under 18 who cares for another person - picks up mum’s prescription, dresses dad, takes their little sister to school. Life is demanding. But they still have to study for exams, look after themselves, and not lose sight of their dreams.

We want to make sure every young carer gets the same opportunities in life as those who don't have to care for someone. It shouldn't have to hold them back.

life as a young carer

Our work with young carers

Our Include service is home to the National Young Carers Initiative. We work so that young carers don't let their extra responsibilities get in the way of school work or having fun. We make sure they understand their rights and can put themselves first every once in a while. 

We also raise awareness of young carers and give them a voice on issues that affect them. They are the experts on their own lives and only they know what needs to change.

young carer quote cropped 2

Never doubt how much you’re worth

Young Carers Festival

Young Carers Festival

Our legendary Young Carers Festival has been giving carers the opportunity to have fun, relax, and meet other carers for the last ten years. And that’s not all. The festival is also a political platform for young carers to get their voices heard and influence change for others around the country.

During the last festival weekend, we asked young people about their experiences of loneliness and isolation. They shared their stories, told us how they were identified as a young carers, and all of their words fed back to help influence a Government funding scheme.

Young Carers Festival
young girl smiling hand over mouth

Things are going upwards

Molly's been looking after four members of her family since the age of 10. Since being referred to us at 14, she's grown in confidence and had time to pursue her own dreams.

We advise people who work with young carers

All young carers should have access to support and advice. That's why we've developed resources and tools to help professionals who work with them. If we're all aware of best practice, we can make a huge difference.

We also offer a free England-wide Young Carers in Schools programme, designed to raise awareness of young carers in schools. The more visible they are, the more chance they have of a level playing field.