A Young Carer is anyone under the age of 18 years who cares for someone, or is going to need to care for someone, because of an illness or disability.
This can be for any kind of illness or disability, including mental health issues like depression, and addictions. This would be happening as part of their home life, and would not include doing it as a job or volunteering.
If you're not sure if you are a young carer, ask an adult you trust like a teacher, another worker, or your School Health Nurse.
Some of the ways young people care for someone are:
- Staying in the house a lot to be there for them
- Helping them to get up, get washed or dressed, or helping with toileting
- Doing lots of the household chores like shopping, cleaning and cooking
- Looking after younger brothers and sisters because of their or their parent's illness or disability
- Providing emotional support, for example encouraging, listening, or just being there for someone
If you think you might be a young carer, talk to your GP or someone at your school or college like a teacher, student services or your School Health Nurse. They will help you find support and further information.
Instant expert: If you are caring for someone, it's really important to look after your own health and wellbeing. There is more information for young carers on Childline. You can also get support from your school.
Support Young Carers
Your school has to consider the needs of young carers. They even get inspected on it! So if you are a young carer, let your school know, so they can help.
If you or anyone else in your family are receiving any kind of service, they should check to see if you need support, or if you are a young carer.
Lots of other groups are encouraged to "think young carer", so that if someone is having difficulties because they are caring for someone, they can make support available to help.
Did you know? Some organisations offer activities or services to young carers discounted or free. You can find activities and support listed on the Oxfordshire Family Information Service.
Young Carers groups
All schools should have support in place for Young Carers.
When you tell people you are a Young Carer, you will be told about support available.
There are also local and national support groups, who can help with advocacy, social opportunities, opportunities to have your say and more.