Young carers ‘face job and education barriers’
Young people who have a caring role for family or friends miss almost 50 school days and experience high levels of bullying, according to new research.
Carers Trust’s first large-scale survey of carers aged 14 to 25 examines the experiences of some of the 375,000 young adults in the UK.
It found on average they miss or cut short an average of 48 school days a year because of their caring role and are four times more likely to drop out of college or university.
One in four reported bullying and abuse in school because they were a carer.
Those in work miss an average of 17 days a year, with a further 79 days affected because of their caring responsibilities.
“This research shows young adult carers are experiencing scandalous difficulties in their education and employment prospects, in their health and in their socialisation,” said Dr Moira Fraser, interim Chief Executive of Carers Trust.
“They are not being identified and supported, and that means they face many barriers that will have a real and lasting impact on their future.
“However - there is a clear path forward. Proper funding of the implementation of the Care Act 2014 is vital, so that young adult carers are protected from excessive caring responsibilities and can put their energy into education, training and employment.
“And this investment needs to be reflected in Government policy so that young adult carers are recognised as a vulnerable group who are prioritised for support to fulfil their potential.”
Responses from 295 young carers reveal that only one in five young adult carers had received a carers’ assessment, with only 22% of those surveyed receiving a formal assessment of their needs by the local authority.
An assessment is a vital step in ensuring that carers and their families are able to get the support they need.
If the respondents are representative of the population of young adult carers in the UK, then over 200,000 young people and their families are not receiving the services and support that they need.
Drawing on analysis of the research findings and consultation with thousands of young adult carers,
Carers Trustis launching a new campaign, because it is young adult carers’ Time to be Heard. It calls on the Government and public bodies to secure a positive future for the UK’s young adult carers. Launched in the House of Commons today, the Time to be Heard campaign aims to give young adult carers a voice and address the barriers they face in education and employment.