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Carers’ breaks for young carers and young adult carers

Guidance for commissioners and providers

Published: June 2020, updated March 2023

This guidance is for commissioners, providers and others involved in the planning, shaping and delivery of support for young carers and young adult carers in transition, primarily in England. This guidance supplements the carers’ breaks guidance for adult carers.

It will be of interest to commissioners within local authorities (including public health), and may be of interest to integrated care systems (ICSs) and partners within both health and education such as GPs and schools. It will also be of interest to a wide range of providers – including those from the voluntary, community, private and public sectors, and not just those already providing young carers’ breaks and support.

Key messages

Key messages from this young carers’ and young adult carers’ breaks and support guide.


Understand what the role of a young carer is and the background behind young carers’ breaks.


How to identify young carers and young adult carers, and the principles of commissioning breaks.

Providing breaks

This section discusses the ways to best support and enable young carers to take breaks.

Practice examples

Organisations running respite and breaks for young carers.

This guidance is based on three sets of evidence in order to support diverse families:

  1. A detailed review of existing literature, including policy documents, reports, evaluations of services and sets of published practice examples.
  2. A call for examples of current young carers’ and young adult carers’ services and commissioning in order to share best practice.
  3. Co-production activities within SCIE working with former young carers and young adult carers.