The ‘official’ definition of a young adult carer
A young adult carer (or YAC) is someone aged between 18-24 who cares, unpaid, for someone who may be chronically ill, disabled, have a mental health condition or an addiction.
There are nearly half a million of them in the UK and they are often one of the most stressed sectors of the caring community. This can be because they are at an age when most of their peers are taking steps towards independence and planning for their future, all of which can be much more challenging for YACs.
Why do they need specialist support?
Aside from having to deal with much more than most people their age, young adult carers often lack financial support and have many more demands on their time than most young people.
They might be juggling caring with further education or starting their career. It can be stressful to ask for time off when you’re starting out. Finding the confidence to ask about an organisation’s leave policy or a college’s housing system would challenge most 18 year olds.
Added to this, the social care entitlements change radically when someone turns 18 and this can be a minefield to navigate.
So that’s why we have a team of extremely experienced people to work with carers aged 18-24 and help them take those steps into adulthood.