What is a Young Carer?

A Young Carer is someone under 18 or is 18 years but still at school, who provides unpaid help and support to a relative, friend or neighbour who due to illness or disability cannot manage to live independently without their help. Some children and young people will have small caring roles, and some will have big caring roles. You might share this caring role with another sibling or an adult carer.


The person you care for may have:

  • an illness
  • a disability
  • a mental health condition
  • drug or alcohol dependency

What does a Young Carer do?

You may help to care for somebody all the time because you live with them or some of the time because they live somewhere else. Caring may include:

  • physical care, like helping someone to wash and dress
  • practical care, for example helping with household chores
  • emotional support, spending time with them and listening to them
  • taking responsibility for supporting siblings e.g. getting them up and out to school

Impact of being a Young Carer

Being a Young Carer can:

  • make you feel proud
  • bring your family closer together
  • help you develop life skills
  • make you tired
  • make it hard to have social time with your friends
  • make it hard to concentrate at your place of learning
  • put lots of responsibility on you

Young Carers Action Day 2022

Young carers across the Lothians have spoken about what helps them to feel supported and less isolated for a special video to mark Young Carers Action Day 2022.