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Is Your Child a Young Carer?

  • Date published:

  • Author: malloryfisher

A young carer is someone under the age of 18 who helps look after, or whose life is affected by, a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem.

If your child is a young carer, they will most likely help look after a family member, friend or loved one.


They may help with:

  • Sibling Care: looking after brothers and sisters
  • Communication: helping someone communicate with others
  • Practical tasks: this can be helping with cooking, cleaning and other tasks such as shopping
  • Physical care: they may help someone move around or get out of bed
  • Helping someone take their medication: they may also help someone collect their prescriptions
  • Emotional support: helping or talking to someone who may be feeling distressed or down
  • Personal care: this can be helping someone get dressed or washed


Impact of caring

We know that caring can impact young people in many ways a few of these are:

Mental health: young carers are more likely to experience emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression than their peers. 48% of young carers say their caring role makes them feel stress.

Education: many young carers find it difficult to manage their education alongside their caring responsibilities. 1 in 20 young carers miss school as a result of caring – they might stay at home because the person they care for is unwell or they may be worried to leave them. Young carers are 50% more likely to experience their own Special Educational Needs.

Social isolation: young carers often find it difficult to access social opportunities as much as their peers, which can result in isolation from their friends. Over two-thirds of young carers say they have been bullied at school, and 80% say they are missing out on their childhood.


Young carers often learn lots of useful skills as a result of their role as a carer, but at Devon Young Carers we want to make sure that they get the support they deserve. If you feel like you, or someone you know maybe a young carer and you would like some more support, please visit our Support for Young Carers page.


Young carers are entitled to an assessment of their needs. The assessment is an opportunity to focus on their own health and wellbeing, concerns and personal goals. This assessment is not about the person they care for, however, that person may be entitled to their own assessment, which a worker can talk with your child about. The assessment usually takes about an hour and can be in school, home or somewhere a young carer feels comfortable.


Coming soon will be Young Carers Action Day on Wednesday 15th March 2023 and the young carers at the festival had their say on what the theme should be and as soon as we know what this is it will be shared.


Quotes from young carers who attended the festival:

“I didn’t know that this (being a young carer) was such a big thing, that there were so many in the same position as me. Being a student is a lot to manage.  I know I should be proud of myself and all young carers should.”

“It’s hard for the cared for too as parents, they know they should be caring for us.  It’s difficult because we have conflicts but we love them so it’s worth it.”


For more information about support you could receive from Devon Young Carers contact them at: 03456 434 435 or email:


Young carers can read about their rights on the Know Your Rights page on our website.


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