Support for Young Carers

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Support for Young Carers

If you are a Young Carer and you are considering applying to college or university, there is support available to you. This support can be provided from LEAPS, your school, local carers groups, or the college or university you are considering. The support can vary, so we’ve put together some information below to get you started.

Remember to check out our other articles on the LEAPS website and information on the S5 Hub and S6 Blog, including Financial Support for Young Carers and Student Wellbeing

Who is a Young Carer?

LEAPS defines Young Carers as a young person who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, frailty, a disability, a mental health problem or an addiction who cannot cope without their support.

You can see more detail about the role of Young Carers on the Carers Trust webpage, here.

Young Carers have rights and the Scottish Government has information on their website, and details of the Carers Charter, including the right to have a ‘Young Carers Statement’.

How can LEAPS help?

Here at LEAPS we have a named contact for Young Carers: Fi Das. Fi can help you with the following:

  • Advice on considering college or university
  • Support during the application process
  • Information about financial support available
  • Emails throughout the year with information and advice for Young Carers
  • Connect you with other support services on your behalf, like carers groups
  • Introduce you to named contacts at college or universities
  • A friendly chat in person, on the phone or email to answer any questions – big or small!

You can reach Fi at or by phone (see details on our contact us page).

LEAPS updates for Young Carers

If you are in S5 or S6, and you would like to receive relevant updates from LEAPS to help you explore your higher education options, you can sign-up for these here.

Support for Young Carers at School:

You might find it helpful to speak with your Guidance Teacher or the named contact for Young Carers at your school about your caring responsibilities. Your school can support you during your school studies, help you establish a Young Carers Statement, and your Guidance Teacher can note your caring responsibilities in your UCAS teacher’s reference. This will help universities and colleges understand challenges you may have faced during your school studies.

Support for Young Carers at College or University:

Universities and colleges recognise the challenges that students with caring responsibilities may face during their studies, and many now have named contacts for Young Carers. The named contact is someone you can contact throughout your studies and can help you access financial, academic or personal support that suits you.

LEAPS can introduce you to the named contact of the institution you are considering or planning to study at, so that you can discuss what support is available to you. Support might include:

  • Pre-application support e.g. campus visits
  • Access to additional or discretionary funds
  • Additional academic support and flexibility
  • Access to student wellbeing services, counselling and health services
  • A regular contact to speak with during your studies
  • Support communicating your caring responsibilities with lecturers and tutors

Top Tip: Colleges and Universities may use the phrase ‘Student Carer’ or ‘Students with Caring Responsibilities’.

LEAPS have compiled a number of named contacts, and you can see details here. Please be aware this information might change from time to time.

Recognising skills

Young Carers develop many valuable and transferrable skills through their caring role like empathy, time management and independence. These skills are very useful in Higher Education - whatever course you chose!

Young Carers can explore their skills using this journal, created by the Carers Trust.

You might consider including these skills in your UCAS personal statement or college application to show some of your positive qualities. 

Top tip: Remember, your skills are relevant for your application no matter what you plan to study!

Find a support service near you:

Use the local services search tool to find support such as Carer’s groups in your local area.

Carers UK search tool

Carers Trust search tool

Care Information Scotland search tool

Other useful links:

LEAPS Blog – Financial Support for Young Carers 

LEAPS Blog – Student Wellbeing 

Young Scot - Young Carers Page

The Carers Trust

Carers UK

My Gov – Young Carer Support