Carers UK blog post, 25 January 2018: Young Carers Awareness Day 2018

Today is Young Carers Awareness Day and we’re highlighting some of the pressures that the UK’s youngest young carers are facing.

The aim of the day is to identify and raise awareness of the 700,000 young carers across the UK who are caring for a sick or disabled family member. By raising awareness we hope it will help them to get the support they desperately need.

We carried out a snapshot survey which showed that many five-to-ten year olds, known as infant young carers, are getting up at night to care for a sick family member.

There are around 10,000 young carers between the ages of five and seven providing unpaid care, according to the most recent Census. We know that many go unnoticed and unrecognised and even when they are acknowledged, more needs to be done to support them and their families as a whole.

We found that:

  • 46% are getting up in the night to care for family members, missing out on their own sleep.
  • More than 80% are carrying out caring duties every day or most days of the week.
    One in ten young carers go the shops unaccompanied to buy essentials for the family.
  • Three quarters of these children are providing emotional support by cheering up family members when they are sad.

Lottie’s story

Read more about our research into infant young carers including our press release.

Birthdays as a young carer

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