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Who are Young Carers?

Young carers are people under the age of 26 who help look after a family member who needs extra support at home. The person they care for may have a disability, mental illness, a drug or alcohol problem, or a long term illness.

There are over 40,000 young carers in Western Australia, which means there are probably two in every classroom!

A young carer may not be the main person who looks after their relative, but they usually have extra responsibilities at home compared to other people their age. Each young carer helps their family in different ways.

How do you become a young carer?

Young people can become carers for many different reasons. They may grow up with an older brother or sister who has a disability, or their mum or dad might have a mental illness. If someone in their family is in an accident or is in hospital for a long time, a young person might start to take on extra responsibilities.

You might be a young carer if...

  • You have a sister, brother, parent, or grandparent who has a disability or illness.
  • You help them with things they need help with such as taking medication, feeding, dressing, or making sure the bills have been paid.
  • You help your family in other ways, like looking after other brothers and sisters, shopping for food, doing extra washing, or preparing dinner.

To hear real stories about young carers in WA click here.

Carers WA have produced a number of position papers outlining issues, information and supports related to specific caring and carer situations. Click here to read about young carers and here to find out about other carer situations.