What is a young carer?

A young carer is a child or young person who:

  • provides regular and on-going care and emotional support to a family member (this does not mean the everyday and occasional help around the home that many young people are often expected to give within families).
  • may have more responsibilities for a family member than many of their friends have.
  • has caring responsibilities that often continue over time.

Did you know?

There are an estimated 29,000 young carers in Scotland - 4% of the under 16 population.

BBC Newsround video about the experiences of several young people and the caring they do.

Why you might be a young carer

Your relative may have an
  • illness
  • a disability
  • a mental health condition
  • or a drug or alcohol problem.

How you might help

  • You help look after a parent, brother, sister or grandparent – with shopping, cooking and cleaning, or personal care like getting dressed.
  • You may also help by talking to them and trying to understand their feelings.
Because of these responsibilities, a young carer is often vulnerable, when the level of care and their responsibility to the person they look after, becomes excessive or inappropriate and risks impacting:
  • on emotional or physical wellbeing
  • educational achievement
  • and life chances.

We want your views

We are reviewing our support for young carers and need your views via our online survey.

We want you to tell us what support you found helpful and what you would like in the future.

Your reponse will help shape the support we provide to East Lothian's young carers. 

There are nine questions and it is easy to complete, the survey will be open until Friday 25 October.

Take part in our survey