Young carers

Young carers are children who help look after a member of the family who is sick, disabled or has mental health problems, or is misusing drugs or alcohol.

Their day to day responsibilities often include:

With so many adult responsibilities, young carers often miss out on opportunities that other children have to play and learn. Many struggle educationally and are often bullied for being ‘different’. They can become isolated, with no relief from the pressures at home, and no chance to enjoy a normal childhood. They are often afraid to ask for help as they fear letting the family down or being taken into care.

Read a story about how Barnardo's helps young carers across the UK »

Young carer facts Services working with young carers

Barnardo’s runs 20 services across the UK which work to support young carers and their families in a variety of ways:


Hear from a project worker at Barnardo's Willow Project

Listen to our radio ad (mp3)
Hear how you can help young carers.

What is a young carer?

Tara's story
View the Tara's video

Adam's story
View Adam's video

Nadine's story
View Nadine's story

Peter's story
View Peter's story

Watch the Young Carers video from the Indigo project, a Barnardo's project based in Redbridge, London.

For more information and to see some of our projects working with young carers