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What is a young carer?

A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who looks after someone. It might be a parent, grandparent, sibling or close relative.

According to the 2011 census there are 200,000 young carers in the UK. This was an increase of 25,000 from the previous census. With many young carers unidentified, this number is expected to be more.

Young carers can help out with all sorts of tasks. They might help with physical care, emotional support or with practical tasks, such as cooking, housework and shopping. They might look after a brother or sister, helping them to communicate or engaging them so their parents are able to get on with other tasks. Looking after someone else can take up a lot of time and young carers can find it difficult to cope with everything. School work and attendance might suffer and young carers can find it difficult to find common ground with their peers.

How we can help

Carer Support Wiltshire works with partners such as Youth Action Wiltshire to provide young carers with breaks, activities and other opportunities, where they will also be able to meet other young carers who are likely to understand their situation.

How to contact us

If you are a teacher or other professional who has identified a young carer you will need to talk to their parents or guardian about referring them to Wiltshire Council.  Professionals should complete a DART (Diagnostic Assessment and Referral Tool) or SARF (Single Agency Referral Form), which can be found on Wiltshire Pathways website.  SARFs can be sent directly to the team at

You can find out more by visiting the young carers section of our website.