Young Carers


A young carer is someone under the age of 18 who helps look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.

This does not have to be a grown up person that you are looking after, but can include helping a parent or friend to look after a disabled child or young person.


Some of the reasons a young carer may be helping to look after someone:

  • the person has a physical illness or disability, this could be a disability that they were born with, a disability caused through an accident, a genetic disability or maybe a terminal illness
  • the person has a mental health condition
  • the person has drug or alcohol problems that impacts on their life

There are many more reasons but this is just a small example why a young person may be caring for a family member or friend. The young person may live in a one parent family and the parent they live with needs to be looked after, the young person is likely not to see themselves as a carer but feels that it is their duty as it is just them and the parent.

Some of the things a young carer may 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 dress
  • Managing the family budget and collecting prescriptions
  • Helping to give medicine
  • Helping someone to communicate
  • Looking after brothers and sisters

The young person is learning lots of useful and valuable skills. However, this should not mean that they miss out on the things other young people are doing. Caring for someone can have a big impact on the things that are important to growing up, with many young carers struggling to juggle their education and caring can cause pressure and stress. It can affect the young person’s mental health, social life and self confidence.

Facts and Figures:

  • In a survey, 395 young carers said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role.
  • 48% of young carers have said that they felt stressed because of their role
  • 26% have been bullied in school because of their caring role
  • 1 in 3 young carers spend between 11-20 hours each week caring
  • The average age of a young carer is 13 years old
  • 1 in every 12 school aged children will be caring for someone
  • There is likely to be young carers in every school and college
  • There are young carers as young as 5 years old

A young person who is a carer should have:

  • The time to be a young person
  • The same opportunities as their friends
  • Good support for the person they help look after
  • Someone to discuss their needs with

Now for the Legal bit

The Children and Families Act covers young carers under the age of 18. For the first time, young carers have new rights under this Act, in the part of the Act about Child Welfare. Part 5, Section (s.) 96 of the Act details the rights for young carers.

These rights are, that local authorities must assess whether young carers in their area have support and, if so, identify any needs they may have.

What help and support is available to a young carer ?

Barnardo’s is commissioned by the local authority to provide support to Young Carers in Wirral. Please contact them for further information about young carers – including if you have identified a child as a potential young carer.

What can they offer to you as a young carer:

  • Someone to talk to who will listen
  • Give you information about the illness or disability of the person you care for
  • Someone to speak up for you when no one wants to listen
  • A break from caring
  • Getting help, advice and support for the person you care for.

What Happens Following a Referral

  • Barnardo’s will contact you and ask you about who you look after and the kinds of things you do for them
  • If we can help we will arrange a time to visit you and the person you care for
  • When we visit you we will talk to you about the Young Carers Project and see if you and your family want to become involved
  • We will arrange for you to visit the Project and talk with you about how we can support you
  • You can meet other young carers and access support and information

Contacting Action With Young Carers Wirral

How to contact us:

telephone 07584 270344

email [email protected]

Barnardo’s Action with Young Carers Wirral – What our Young Carers service can offer you

  • An assessment which helps you and your family think about things that would make a difference
  • Opportunity to meet other young carers
  • Information about the illness or disability of the adult you care for
  • Help for the whole family
  • Get you supported in school / college
  • Someone to speak up for you when no one wants to listen
  • Getting help, advice and support for the adult you care for
  • Emotional support
  • A break from caring
  • Someone to talk to who will listen

Young Carer’s Stories


Helpful Links for Support and Advice

Or contact the Integrated Front Door on 0151 606 2008 (9:00 am -17:00 pm) after hours 0151 677 6557 or email [email protected]

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