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Being a Young Carer

I’m not sure if I’m a young carer?

Sometimes it can be difficult to decide if whether what you do means you are a carer or you are simply helping out. This can be made even more difficult if your parents, or the person you are caring for, don’t want to recognise what you are doing. If this is the case, it may be because they feel guilty or worried about what you are doing because you are so young.

You are likely to be a young carer if you find yourself carrying out any of the tasks below on a regular basis-

  • Taking care of household chores such as shopping and cleaning
  • Managing the household such as sorting bills
  • Keeping track of and administering medication
  • Looking after your brothers or sisters
  • Providing emotional support such as helping the person you care for manage their moods
  • Helping to wash and dress the person you care for

If you are under the age of 18 and look after a family member or friend who cannot manage on their own, then you are a young carer.

You don’t need to be providing personal care or physical support to be a young carer. It may be that someone depends on you emotionally as a result of mental illness, drugs or alcohol.

It can be difficult to manage school and friends when you are a young carer. You may fall behind with your school work or feel your friends don't understand you any more. This section has information and advice that can help. 

Self-help documents