What is a young carer

A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who spends time looking a relative or friend, who is disabled, ill, has mental health problems or uses drugs or alcohol.

The majority of young carers look after one of their parents or care for a brother or sister.

They do jobs in and around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, shopping or helping someone to get dressed and move around. They may also help them use the toilet, or give them medication.

Young carers may need to help a relative deal with their feelings by talking to them, listening and trying to understand their problems.

The difference between young carers and other young people who help in the home is that young carers are often responsible for someone else in their family in a way that most other young people are not.

Many children and young people do not see themselves as young carers because what they do is 'normal' to their family. Because of this, they don't realise that there is help for them out there.

If you take on this kind of responsibility, you are a young carer.

If you give a lot of physical help to a brother or sister who is disabled or ill, you are a sibling carer (a sibling is a word for brother or sister). Along with physical help for your sibling, you may also be giving emotional support to both your sibling and your parents.