Young Carers and Young Adult Carers

A Young Carer is someone under the age of 18 who helps to look after a relative who has a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem.

Young Adult Carers are aged between 16-25 and care, unpaid, for a family member or friend who has a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem.

The majority of young carers and young adult carers look after one of their parents or care for a brother or sister, although some may care for another relative, such as a grandparent, or they may care for a friend.

What might a young carer/young adult carer do?

  • Practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping.
  • Physical care, such as helping someone out of bed. 
  • Emotional support, such as talking to someone who is distressed.
  • Personal care, such as helping someone dress.
  • Managing the family budget and collecting prescriptions.
  • Helping to give medicine. 
  • Helping someone communicate.
  • Looking after brothers and sisters.

Being a young carer/young adult carer can have a big impact on a young person’s life and on things that are important to the young person for example:

  • It can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence.
  • Many young carers struggle to juggle their education and caring which can cause pressure and stress.
  • Many young adult carers struggle to juggle work or further education and sometimes feel limited in what they can do in their future.
  • But young people can learn lots of useful skills by being a young carer.

Why do Young Carers need support?

Being a young carer/young adult carer can affect many areas of a young person’s life, including school and college, employment, and socialising. For individuals in families, taking on inappropriate or over demanding caring roles can lead to isolation, poor health and reduced life chances, including the ability to take on paid employment.

Usually, the caring responsibilities taken on leave very little time for play and rest, which is important for every young person. Caring for someone can be very stressful, no matter what age. Young carers/young adult carers have to adapt very quickly to the adult responsibilities which can deprive them of their youth.

How do we help Young Carers?

DISC Darlington Young Carers offers a range of support to young carers/young adult carers up to the age of 25 years, details of which can be found via the Living Well advice and support for carers pages [external link].

or by contacting:

DISC Darlington Young Carers