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.