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Fact sheet

I work with adults: how do I identify a young carer?

If you work with adults, you probably work with some who are parents. Whenever you come across a parent who has a care need because of their disability, illness or substance misuse problem, ask yourself: Who else looks after my client apart from me?

Some parents get their care needs met by adult carers or other professionals. But tens of thousands answered a question on the last census to say that their child was also their carer. In all likelihood, many more kept this a secret.

Ask every adult client:

  • Who helps care for you at home?
  • Do you have children?
  • What effect does your health problem have on them?
  • How much do they do to help out?
  • Do you need more support as a parent?
  • Do your children need more support?

How can I help a young carer?

The best way to provide help for young carers is to look at the whole family. In many areas, there is a specialist local service that can offer activities, breaks, listening, help with school problems and signposting for parents.

Find out if you have a local Young Carers Project. Ensure that young people know about this service and refer when you have the young carers’ or parents’ permission.