Information and resources

Who are Young Carers?

A young carer is a young person, up to the age of 18, whose own educational, health, social or emotional development is affected by their caring responsibilities. This will be:

  • At home or elsewhere
  • In respect of physical or emotional caring
  • Normally on a long-term basis
  • In comparison to what any young person of comparable age could reasonably be expected to experience or achieve
  • This is in addition to the demands of school, exams and all the usual pressures that young people have to cope with

A young carer could be caring for:-

  • a parent
  • a brother
  • a sister
  • a grandparent
  • other relative
  • close friend

A young carer could be caring for someone who has:-

  • A long term illness
  • A disability (physical or learning)
  • A mental health problem
  • Substance or alcohol misuse
  • A Sensory impairment

A young carer may be helping with one or more things such as:-

  • Domestic support
  • Physical help
  • Personal care
  • Emotional support
  • Looking after siblings (and self parenting)
  • Giving medicine or physiotherapy
  • Interpreting (if English is not first language or sign language)

Many young carers are caring for more than one person, young carers may also be caring for themselves.
Some take on the task voluntarily, in some families, it is demanded. The majority, however, just grow into the role.
It is also important to remember that not every child whose parent or sibling is ill or disabled is necessarily a young carer.

Some of the effects of a caring role are:-

  • Impact on education and future career opportunities
  • Social isolation
  • Emotional problems
  • Physical problems
  • Family breakdown
  • Poverty and low income

How can you help a young carer?

  • Acknowledge the importance of their role
  • Listen to them
  • Offer support and understanding
  • Offer to put them in touch with Carewise

How can you make a referral to Carewise:-

Referrals are accepted from any agency, which must first have the permission of the young person and/or their parent/carer.

Alternatively a young person, parent or carer may contact Carewise direct.

Referrals should be made to the Project Manager – see the Meet the Team page or our contact page; or download and print the Referral Form below.

Information available to download –

What does Carewise offer?

  • Respite trips and activities for young carers
  • Residential weekends
  • After school drop in sessions
  • Regular newsletter
  • Help with transport to and from activities
  • 1:1 support for disengaged and hidden young carers
  • Family support