If you're a young carer (under 18) or a young adult carer (aged 18 to 25), you can get help, advice and support.
How you help
You might help look after a parent, brother, sister or grandparent – with shopping, cooking and cleaning, or personal care like getting dressed.
You may also help by talking to them and trying to understand their feelings.
Your relative may have an illness, a disability, a mental health condition, or a drug or alcohol problem.
As a young carer, you may have more responsibility for a family member than many of your friends have.
Who can help you
There are many aspects to your life you might need support and advice on, such as:
- relationships with family and friends
- losing someone
- getting breaks from caring
- your rights
- leaving home
- your health and happiness
You might also need help, if you're a bit older, with:
- work or training
- college or university
Going to college or university
Schools, colleges and universities can give you general advice about how to balance study and your other responsibilities.
Other organisations that can help include:
- Carers Trust offer advice on studying and training for people with caring responsibilities. – Babble is an online community where young carers can chat, share experiences and access information and advice
- The Student Awards Agency for Scotland – find guidance on extra funding for student carers
If you've been attending a young carer's service, they can also support you to make choices about further and higher education.
Going Higher In Scotland is Carers Trust Scotland's campaign to support student carers in higher education.
Local social care department
Health and social care services should offer the best services to the person you're looking after, which will help you in your role.
Ask your local council's social work department for a carer's assessment – if you're 18 or over – so it can find out what help you might need.
Your GP can also offer help. If you're at school, your teachers or school nurse should also be able to support you.
There are also helplines that let you chat to someone about anything worrying you. ChildLine is for young people and it's confidential. Call them on 0800 1111 anytime, day or night.
Getting a break
As well as being a carer, you might also go to school, college, university or work. This can be a lot to cope with.
It's important you have time for yourself to see your friends and enjoy your interests and hobbies, and get a break from your caring responsibilities.
Social services should be able to organise this for you. Shared Care Scotland can also give you information on getting a break.
Find more information for young carers and young adult carers on the Care Information Scotland website.
You'll also find help and advice from:
- Babble – an online community from the Carers Trust where young carers can chat, share experiences and access information and advice
- Matter – information and advice if you're 16 to 25
- Life in a Spin – an online challenge that shows the challenges young carers face every day
- the Scottish Youth Parliament's Care.Fair.Share campaign