About young adult carers

Young adult carers are young people aged 16–25 who care, unpaid, for a family member or friend with an illness or disability, mental health condition or an addiction.

Find more general information on young carers of all ages under 25

How many young adult carers are there?

  • There are at least 376,000 young adult carers in the UK.
  • They are likely to be in every school, college, university and workplace.

What might a young adult carer do?

  • Practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping.
  • Physical care, such as helping someone out of bed. 
  • Emotional support, such as talking or listening to someone who is distressed.
  • Personal care, such as helping someone dress or go to the toilet.
  • Managing the family budget and collecting prescriptions.
  • Helping to give someone their medication.
  • Helping someone communicate.
  • Looking after brothers and sisters.

Being a young adult carer can have a big impact on the things that are important to growing up

  • It can affect a young person’s health, social life and self confidence – over 45% reported a mental health problem.
  • Many struggle to manage their education, working life and caring role which can cause pressure and stress.
  • Recent research on young adult carers who were no longer in education showed their highest qualifications were GCSEs grade D–G.
  • 29% had dropped out of college/university because of their caring role. This is four times greater than the national average for degree courses.

But young people can learn lots of useful skills by being a young adult carer.

How we support young adult carers

Carers Trust helps young adult carers to cope with their caring role through specialised services across the UK.

These services are delivered by network of local carer organisations, which are independent charities offering young adult carers the chance to be young people free from their caring responsibilities through trusted practical and emotional support and activities. Find your local carer service.