We can’t take away a parent’s illness, but we can give young carers a break. Our services help young people balance caring with being a child

A young carer is someone under 18 who looks after a parent or another family member. They take on physical and emotional duties that adults usually handle. It can feel scary and isolating.

Our support helps young carers come to terms with their parent's or other family member’s illness or condition. We teach them how to cope, and guide them to build positive relationships outside the family.

We help young carers plan for the future, by making sure they can access adult services when they’re 18.

We know we can call our support worker anytime, and Marissa has really enjoyed the trips they organise because she gets to meet other children in her situation. I honestly don’t know where we’d be without Action for Children.

Suzanna, parent of young carer Marissa
Young boy smiling and holding basketball in park

Breaks for carers

We make sure young carers get regular breaks, and can join in fun activities with other young people. Events, outings and meet-ups are chance to pause responsibilities and enjoy being a child for a few hours. This is really important to resilience and mental wellbeing.

We offer practical and emotional support to ensure young carers enjoy and achieve, just like their peers.

Family support

We include parents and families in the needs assessment, and make sure they can access advice, support and signposting. This helps ease the pressure on young carers. We also run events for parents, and outings families can enjoy together.


Sidekick is an anonymous and confidential text service for young carers aged 13-18 in the UK.

Young people can message any time, about anything that's bothering them. Our friendly team will find the answer and reply within 24 hours.

Many young carers aren’t getting help because they don’t know they are carers. With Sidekick, we’re bridging that gap – offering support beyond existing services.

Working with others

We work in partnership with schools, social care, health services, GPs and voluntary sector organisations to make sure young carers know what support is out there. This early identification means they know someone is looking out for them – they don’t have to cope alone.

We support teachers and schools working with young carers. And we play a role in advocacy and awareness raising.

Give young carers a childhood

Access to family help and breaks makes a real difference to the children we help.

Help young carers

Are you a young carer in the UK? Get confidential support

Visit Sidekick