Ways to support a young carer

If you know a young carer, you might feel like there is nothing you can do to make their situation better. The reality is that young carers really need you, even though they might not say it, and there are lots of things you can do to help them feel more supported and less alone. Some ideas are:

  • Be their safe person:
    • Be compassionate and empathetic.
    • Check in with them on a regular basis to find out how they are doing. You can do this in informal settings, like when you’re travelling together in a car or going for a walk. These kinds of informal check-ins can help young carers open up freely without feeling pressured.
    • Let them know that they can talk to you about anything. Even if they don’t take you up on your offer, keep reminding them so they know you are being genuine. Sometimes young carers are protecting themselves by not opening up right away, so don’t take it personally. You never know when they might finally reach out.
    • Be supportive, nonjudgmental and try not to pry for information. Just listen to what they feel comfortable sharing.
    • Focus on their perspective and experiences rather than on their family members.
    • Ask the young carer what they need and want from you. Are they looking for someone who will simply listen to them and let them vent, a mentor, or someone who will challenge them?
  • If you can, help them meet others who have similar experiences so they feel less alone.
  • If they are ready, help facilitate opportunities for them to learn new things, improve their coping strategies, increase their support system, and have some fun.
  • Offer to help out with their responsibilities at home, if possible, so they can take time for themselves.
  • Help them find a safe place where they can go to relax when they need a break from their responsibilities at home.
  • Don’t underestimate the impact you’re having as a caring adult.
  • Share this information with your colleagues, other community members, and young carers.

Tips for School Staff

Tips for Healthcare Professionals

Tips for Organizations

Tips for Community Members