Who are young carers?

Young carers are children and young people under the age of 18 whose lives are in some way affected because they provide care, assistance or support to another family member in the home. Young adult carers are recognised as a separate group and are aged between 18 and 24 years.

The person they care for is often a parent but can be a sibling, grandparent or other relative who needs care, support or supervision because of disability, chronic illness, mental health difficulties or problems with drugs or alcohol misuse.

Young carers may undertake practical tasks like:

  • Cooking
  • Housework
  • Shopping
  • Or caring for siblings; they may
  • Provide personal care such as helping their loved one dress, bathe or use the bathroom;
  • They may provide physical support such as using hoists or helping their loved one walk or use the stairs; 
  • Or they may provide emotional support when their loved one gets down or is distressed.

Many young carers enjoy caring – that they’re proud of who they are and what they do and that they’ve built up a whole range of useful skills.

Sometimes though, young carers say that caring can affect how they feel, how much time they get to spend with friends, or their school work, and that often they need some help.

Many people who care for a loved one do not see themselves as being young carers. They think of themselves as a family member, a brother, a sister, a son, or a daughter and can presume that all families provide this sort of support. As a result, they often don’t realise that there is help available to them.

Family Carers Ireland has a dedicated Young Carer Support Manager & FREE REGISTRATION

If you are a young carer or parent and would like to speak to our Young Carer Support Manager, please don’t be afraid to get in touch. You can email in confidence, youngcarers@familycarers.ie or you can call our FREEPHONE Careline on 1800 24 07 24.


Young Carers Registration