Toggle menu

Young Carers

What is a young carer?

A young carer is someone who is under the age of 18 (or 18 and still at school) who supports a relative or friend with daily living needs. The person might need support because they have a physical or mental illness, disability or an addiction.

A young carer may help with:

  • practical things, like cooking, cleaning and shopping 
  • physical care, like helping someone out of bed 
  • emotional support, including talking to someone who is distressed 
  • personal care, such as helping someone dress or wash 
  • budgeting and managing money for the family 
  • collecting prescriptions at the pharmacy or GP surgery 
  • helping to give medicine 
  • helping someone communicate 
  • looking after siblings 

The Scottish Government estimates that there are around 29,000 young carers in Scotland. 

But this doesn't mean that all of them are claiming the support they're entitled to. So, if you recognise yourself as possibly being a young carer, find out how below how you can access a range of supports and help with your wellbeing.

The Young Carers Strategy was approved by the Integration Joint Board on 17th February 2021, and covers the period 2021 to 2026. In this Strategy we explain what it means to be a young carer and outline our plans to raise awareness, recognise and support young carers over the next five years.