All children deserve a childhood

Some children aren’t able to enjoy the simple things many children take for granted, because they are caring for someone in their family who is ill or disabled.

Young boy standing in kitchen

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. 

Young carers take on a lot of responsibilities, such as:

  • helping wash and dress the person they're caring for
  • looking after a younger brother or sister
  • cooking
  • cleaning
  • shopping

That’s a lot to cope with when you’re a child. At Barnardo's, we aim to help as many young carers as we can. We help them look after their loved ones and give them time to enjoy their childhoods.

At our services across the UK we:

  • organise outings and activities for young carers
  • give young carers advice and emotional support through counselling sessions
  • help the family get support from social services
  • talk to a young carer’s school, so teachers understand their situation and can be supportive
  • run drop-in centres where young carers can take a break, have fun, be a child – and meet other young carers

Find a service near you.

Barnardo’s helped me to believe in myself. I started to understand that I can have a life, I don’t need to be home 24/7. I’m part of the Young Carers Council now, and I feel part of something. Before, I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere.

Megan

Young carer