Young Carers

A census carried out in 2011 stated that there were around 166,000 young Carers in the UK. This figure did not include unidentified young Carers and the figure is now estimated to be around 800,000.

A young Carer is identified as a child under the age of 18 who cares for someone who is ill, disable or misuses drugs or alcohol. Children as young as 5 years old have caring responsibilities in some capacity.

Young Carers often report that they experience challenges that other children do not:

  • Unable to meet up with friends
  • Unable to do or keep up with school work
  • Missing school due to caring responsibilities
  • Struggles with mental health
  • Experiencing social isolation

Many children also report that their schools and / or friends do not know that they have a caring role and the effects of a caring role can often be misinterpreted. Tiredness can be mistaken for disinterest and not being able to go out, mistaken for being unsociable.

Young Carers provide a range of support to those they care for including

  • Personal care such as dressing and washing
  • Practical help such as housework and shopping
  • Emotional support

If you think you, or someone you know, may be a young Carer, help is available to support you. Thrive Wandsworth have created a Young Carers Plan which focuses on staying safe and being healthy amongst other things; you can download the plan below.

A young Carers youth club also runs, offering an opportunity to make new friends, learn life skills and a chance to access advice and one to one support. Click here to find out more about the youth club and how you can join.