Are you one?
Do any of these statements ever apply to you?
- I find it difficult to concentrate at school when my mum is sick.
- I often have to help to calm my little brother down when he becomes hyper.
- My friends don’t understand why I don’t have time to go out with them.
- I sometimes have to stay up until mid-night to get my homework done.
- I just want my mum and dad to sit together and talk about what help we need.
A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who helps look after a relative who has a condition, such as a disability, illness, mental health condition, or a drug or alcohol problem. Most young carers look after one of their parents or care for a brother or sister.
They do extra jobs in and around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, or helping someone to get dressed and move around. Some children give a lot of physical help to a brother or sister who is disabled or ill.
Along with doing things to help their brother or sister, they may also be giving emotional support to both their sibling and your parents.
You may not know that you are a young carer
You may keep quiet about your caring role because you worry about letting your family down or being taken away from your family.
Whatever your circumstances, there are people who can help you.
If you are 18 or under and help look after a relative who has an illness, mental health condition, disability, drug or alcohol problem, then you are a young carer.
Many young carers look after one of their parents or care for a brother or sister. They do extra jobs such as cooking, cleaning, or helping someone to get dressed.