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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.

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.

The Young Carer Friendly Award

The Young Carer Friendly Award has been developed by Carer Support Wiltshire to recognise good practice for the identification and support of young carers in schools. 

All Wiltshire education providers (primary schools to FE colleges) can access this award at no charge. The requirements for the award include having a young carer policy, displaying awareness materials, having a young carer lead, sending a young carer identification letter to parents and carers, completing a baseline of known young carers, delivering a young carer assembly and holding a regular young carer group/having opportunities to discuss wellbeing. 

Find out further information about introducing a young carer lead on the Carers Trust website.

There are resources, including example policies, a sample letter to parents and carers and display materials, in the young carers section of our website. Visit the resources page here.

If you require any information and cannot find it on our website, please contact our Carer Friendly Schools Coordinator Clare Mclaren at

We are working in partnership with the Wiltshire Healthy Schools programme on the award, which means that you can access the audit online on the Wiltshire Healthy Schools website.

Wiltshire schools who are completing their Wiltshire Healthy Schools accreditation will automatically have access to the Young Carer Award as part of the accreditation. Education providers who don’t currently have access to the Wiltshire Healthy Schools audit can request access to the Young Carers Award by emailing

How to refer a young carer

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 us at Carer Support Wiltshire. Once you have consent, You can do this online here.

We also encourage you to refer young carers through to Wiltshire Council.  You can make the referral to MASH by calling 0300 456 0108 or emailing

Should you have any questions or if you need assistance, please feel free to reach out to our friendly young carer team at 0800 181 4118 or email us at 

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