Terms and definitions


According to ROTA, the terms black and minority ethnic (BME) and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) refer to ‘all groups who are discriminated against on the grounds of their race, culture, nationality or religion.’


According to the Princess Royal Trust for Carers: ‘A carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid support to family or friends who could not manage without this help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems.

Anyone can become a carer; carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age. Many feel they are doing what anyone else would in the same situation; looking after their mother, son, or best friend and just getting on with it.

‘Carers don’t choose to become carers: it just happens and they have to get on with it; if they did not do it, who would and what would happen to the person they care for?’

Young carer

While there are multiple definitions of ‘young carer’, the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) defines it as:

’The term ”young carer” should be taken to include children and young people under 18 who provide regular and ongoing care and emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances. The term does not apply to the everyday and occasional help around the home that may often be expected of or given by children in families. The key features for us are that the caring responsibilities persist over time and are important in maintaining the health, safety or day to day well-being of the person cared for and/ or the wider family’.

The ADCS definition appears in its document Working Together to Support Young Carers. A Model Local Memorandum of Understanding between Statutory Directors for Children’s Services and Adult Social Services.

For more detailed information 

In its publication Beyond We Care: Putting Black Carers in the Picture; the Afiya Trust and National Black Carers and Carers Workers Network, the Afiya Trust thoroughly addresses the complexities of the definitions of the terms ‘BME’, ‘young carer’ and other terms. See pages 2 through 6 of the publication.


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