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To Sam

Young carer

Mu mum has been ill for over a year now and I have no one else at home to help so I end up doing cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc. But she has days when she can do all of this. Does this make me a young carer?

Ask Sam



Hi there,

A young carer is a young person who looks after another person. They may have to help by doing things like cooking and cleaning. Some of the reasons that young people have to care for others can be because of sickness, disability or mental health issues. As you look after your mum because she is ill, this would make you a young carer. Especially as you're doing a lot more than just helping out occasionally and it takes up a lot of your time.

Looking after a family member who can't care for themselves can be difficult. Often it can be hard to manage school work and have free time to spend with friends. It can also be upsetting as you can feel you don’t have any other choice.

It’s important that you get support so you can have time for yourself to help you to cope with everything. Social services can help. They can carry out a needs assessment which will look at your education, training, hobbies and your views about your future. They will then try and put supports in place to help you. You can contact social services by finding your local council.

If you are at school or college think about speaking to them so they can help too. If they know about your situation at home they may be able to do things like give you extra time to do school work, or arrange for someone to talk to if things get more difficult at home.

Support groups can be really helpful as it gives you the chance to meet up with other young people who are in a similar situation. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau should have details of groups in your area. You can also talk to other young carers on our message boards.

If any of these options sound complicated, and you want to talk it through, then remember you can always talk to us. We're here to support you whenever you need us.

Take care


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