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Young carer facts

There are probably more young carers out there than you think. They take on extra responsibilities, like dressing the person they look after, cooking, cleaning, shopping, collecting prescriptions. It's a lot to take on as a child. 

Here are some things you might not know about children who are carers.

facts about young carers

800,000

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

27%

of young carers aged 11-15 miss school

Being a young carer

girl looks after her mother

What is a young carer?

By definition, a young carer is someone under the age of 18 who looks after a family member or friend who has a physical or mental health condition, or misuses drugs or alcohol. They may also look after brothers, sisters or elderly relatives too.

We have worked with those as young as five years old but there could be child carers who are even younger.

what is a young carer

Growing up should be about exploring and finding out who you are. But for young carers who have to look after a loved one, it's a little more tricky.

Having to care for someone can often mean missing school or having to bail on friends. It can put their childhood on the back burner. Many young carers, and the people around them, don't even realise they're carers. 

39% said nobody in their school was even aware of their caring responsibilities

girl smiling in front of brick wall

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Make sure you live for yourself

young carer facts

1 in 3

young carers have a mental health issue

87%

of young carers aren't properly supported into adulthood

hidden from view

Child carers provide vital support for their loved ones, whether this is for physical or mental health problems. However, their own mental health is often overlooked.

Even before the pandemic, over one third of young carers reported having a mental health problem. 

What's more, many aren't properly supported as they move into adulthood. A whopping 87% don't receive the transition assessment, which is a legal requirement and helps them think about life after caring.

Our nationwide programme for young carers fights so they get proper support - whether they're thinking of going to university or college, getting more training, doing an apprenticeship or applying for paid employment. We are there to listen and empower them to take the next steps.

Help for young carers

girl speaks to a councillor

Young carers are determined

Through our work with young carers, we've learnt a lot about resilience. They are some of the strongest people you'll ever meet. With a little help, they achieve their dreams quicker than most. Whether that's getting a university degree or influencing change for other young carers, these young people are so much more than their caring responsibilities.

young carers are an absolute force to be reckoned with