Children or young people who care for a family member or dependent

Sometimes referred to as young carers, a child or young person who cares is someone who spends time looking after a family member, a friend or another dependent by helping with tasks that they can no longer manage either because of illness or a disability.   

These disabilities may include physical illness, mental ill-health or substance misuse.   

A young carer may do some or all of the following:

  • practical tasks such as cooking, housework, shopping
  • physical care such as lifting, helping up the stairs and physiotherapy
  • personal care such as dressing, washing and helping someone go to the toilet
  • emotional support such as listening, calming someone and being present
  • household management such as paying the bills, managing finances and collecting benefits
  • looking after siblings such as putting to be and walking to school
  • interpreting for parents with hearing or speech impediments or English as an additional language
  • administering medication such as insulin needles and preparing daily tablets.

Your rights as a child or young person who cares

Young carers and young adult carers in England have the right to information and to an assessment of the support they need from the council. The Carers Trust has produced a free guide for young carers which explains your rights as a young carer.

Support and advice for children and young people who care

There are many organisations that support children and young people who care, including: 

  • Oxleas Young Carers provides information and local resources for young carers. 
  • HeadScape - designed by young people in Bexley and Greenwich, a trusted website to check your feelings, do quizzes and find out if you need help and where to find it.
  • NHS Choices Support - how to get help from school, social workers and healthcare professionals. There are videos of young carers talking about their experiences.
  • NHS Carers Direct helpline - open from 9am-8pm Monday to Friday, and from 11am-4pm at weekends. Closed on bank holidays. Call 0300 123 1053.

Children and Young People Who Care Network 

In Royal Greenwich we understand that there are likely to be lots of demands on your time, and we know that you may need some support. We have a register of children and young people who look after dependents or family members so we can: 

  • stay in touch with you about issues that are important 
  • help you get involved in everything that Royal Greenwich has to offer 
  • consult with you about matters that may affect you, your family or those you care for 

Please note that if you are under 16, we will need to contact you by telephone to discuss the Children and Young People Who Care Network with you.  

Join the Children and Young People Who Care Network

We look forward to hearing from you. If you require any immediate help, or you’re interested in finding out what is available to you, please contact the Royal Greenwich Families Information Service by: