Young carers' rights

Everybody has certain rights and responsibilities. If caring is affecting your health, your feelings or your school work, you should ask for help from your GP, teacher or another adult.

The Young Carer's Charter was drawn up by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and sets out the rights young carers feel they're entitled to.

As a young carer, think about what might help you ensure you enjoy these rights. Read the charter below and ask yourself: how can I make this a reality for me?

Try to find time to be with your friends. If possible, put aside some time each day to do something you enjoy.

Information from

  • The Charter

    'We are children and young people who are also carers. We want people to recognise this. We believe we should have the same rights as other children and young people, including the rights:

    • to be children and young people as well as carers,
    • to schools and colleges that give us the help we need to get an education,
    • to fun, friends and time off from caring,
    • to a well-supported family life,
    • to practical help and support,
    • to a safe environment and protection from harm, including any harm that our caring roles could cause us,
    • to services that value our different backgrounds, culture, religion, race and sexuality,
    • to be listened to,
    • to an assessment of what we need as individuals,
    • to be involved when people make decisions which affect our lives,
    • to a wide range of information that would help us,
    • to someone who will help us have a voice (advocacy),
    • to understand how things work and how to complain if we want to,
    • to choose how much caring we do, and
    • to become independent adults.


    Caring for someone when you are a young person can be difficult. Some people start caring at a very young age and don't really realise that they've become carers. Other young people become carers overnight.

    If someone in your family needs to be looked after, it can be hard to say no. This may make you resent the person you're looking after. You may not have as much time to see your friends as you did before.

    Young carers shouldn't do the same amount of caring as adult carers and shouldn't have to provide regular and substantial care to someone.

  • Do I have to be a carer?

    It's your decision whether to become a carer and it's up to you how much and what type of care you're willing or able to give. You may feel a lot of pressure to take on a caring role, but it's important to think about what's best for you and the person who needs care.

    You may feel guilty about handing caring responsibility over to someone else, but you need to decide whether you're the right person to give the level of care necessary. All disabled adults are entitled to support so that they don't have to rely on their children to care for them.

    Northumberland Adult Social Care Team  are responsible for providing the correct level of support and care to the adult you look after. It's important for social services to ensure the whole family feels supported and comfortable with your role.

  • Do I have to look after my brother or sister?

    If you have a sick or disabled brother or sister, you may be a 'sibling carer'. Usually, sibling carers are not the main carers but they help their parents or grandparents. But you may find yourself looking after a parent and a brother or sister. Sibling carers can face huge responsibilities, particularly if they're helping to care for more than one person.

    You don't have to be a sibling carer if you don't want to be. You can speak to your parents or grandparents about how you feel.

    Northumberland Care Trust or Northumberland County Council may be able to help you if you look after a parent and a brother or sister. You can contact Adult Services on 01670 536400 and ask for help and support in your caring role.

  • Choosing how long to care for

    You may want to look after a relative but need more time to do school work or to see friends. Everyone needs time to themselves. It's your legal right and no one will think badly of you for asking for this time.

    You can be assessed for help from your local authority if you're under 16 and the person you're caring for has already had an assessment. If you're over 16 and a carer, you can ask for a carer's assessment at any time.

    Assessments are not tests. They're a chance for you to talk to social services to see if they can help you. When the local authority looks at the results of the assessment, it may decide that you need extra help to care for the person you're looking after.

    It may also be able to provide you with aids or adaptations to your home to make things easier for you.