A young carer is a person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person (Section 96 of the Children and Families Act 2014).
This relates to care for any family member who is physically or mentally ill, frail, elderly, disabled or misuses alcohol or substances.
The key principle is that:
‘Children should not undertake inappropriate or excessive caring roles that may have an impact on their development. A young carer becomes vulnerable when their caring role risks impacting upon their emotional or physical well-being and their prospects in education and life.’ (Care and Support Statutory Guidance. Issued under the Care Act. DH 2014. Paragraph 2.49).