Advice for Professionals

The impact of caring

Education

  • Young carers miss or cut short on average 48 days of school a year because of their caring responsibilities *
  • 39% said nobody in their school was even aware of their caring responsibilities
  • On average young carers score 9 grades lower at GCSE and are twice as likely to not be in education, employment or training between 16 and 18
  • 68% of young carers are bullied in school with 26% reported they are bullied purely because of their caring role? *

Mental health

  • 72% of young carers feel lonely and isolated during school holidays (Source: Action for Children and Carers Trust).
  • Just under half (48 %) of young carers said their caring role made them feel stressed and 44% said it made them feel tired *
  • 1 in 3 young carers have a mental health issue, with that increasing to nearly 1 in 2 amongst young adult carers (45%) *            

*Source Carers Trust

Academic Research

Research literature on young carers shows that young carers are likely to experience:
• restricted opportunities for social networking and for developing peer friendships [Bilsborrow, 1992]; Aldridge and Becker, 1993a, Dearden and Becker, 1995, 1998];
• limited opportunities for taking part in leisure and other activities [Aldridge and Becker, 1993a];
• health problems [Becker, Aldridge and Dearden, 1998]
• emotional difficulties [Elliott, 1992; Dearden and Becker, 1995, 1998];
• a lack of understanding from peers about young carers’ lives and circumstances [Aldridge and Becker, 1993a, 1994; Dearden and Becker, 1998];
• a fear of what professionals might do to the family if their circumstances are known [Aldridge and Becker, 1993a, 1994; Dearden and Becker, 1998];
• the keeping of ‘silence’ and secrets, again because of the fear of public hostility or punitive professional responses [Aldridge and Becker, 1993b];
• Significant difficulties in making a successful transition from childhood to adulthood [Frank, Tatum and Tucker, 1999; Dearden and Becker, 2000].