Helping Shape Your Future

Since 1986

Helping Shape Your Future

Since 1986

What is a young carer?

A young carer is someone who looks after another person. Caring for someone might involve things you do every day like cooking and cleaning. Or you might have to do much more if your family member can’t do some things themselves.

A young carer might look after someone because they’re sick, or have a disability or mental health issues. Or, if a parent or family member has an alcohol or drug problem, they may be unable to care for themselves or anyone else.

Some young people tell us they aren’t sure if they can actually call themselves a ‘young carer’. But even if you aren’t the only one who is doing the looking after, you can be a young carer. Especially if you’re doing a lot more than just helping out occasionally and it takes up a lot of your time.

It’s never your fault if someone is having problems and you have to look after them.

What might a young 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 can have a big impact on the things that are important to growing up

  • Many young carers struggle to juggle their education and caring which can cause pressure and stress.
  • In a survey, 39% said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role.
  • 26% have been bullied at school because of their caring role.
  • 1 in 20 miss school because of their caring role.
  • It can affect a young person’s health, social life and self-confidence. But young people can learn lots of useful skills by being a young carer

Supportive organisations (web based): 

Supportive organisations (local to the area):

If you are aged 25 and under and look after a family member due to a long term illness or disability, the Barnardo’s Action with Young Carers Service can help you. It can help with:

  • Someone to talk to who will listen.
  • Meet other young carers at groups and activities.
  • Give you information about the illness or disability of the person you care for.
  • Someone to speak up for you when nobody wants to listen.
  • Fun and free activities.
  • A break from caring.
  • Getting help, advice and support for the person you care for.

How to access this service

Call us on 228 4455. If we can’t take your call straight away, please leave us a message and we’ll call you back. You can also email us at

Action for Young Carers is based at 109 Eaton Road, West Derby, Liverpool L12 1LU.

You can also get support and advice by contacting Careline. This service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.