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TitleThe lives of young carers in England
LanguageEnglish
File Size1.7 MB
Total Pages135
Table of Contents
                            List of tables
Executive Summary
	Overview
	Background
	Methodology
	Key findings
		Understanding the context of caring: young carers and their families (Section 2)
		Experiences and impact of caring on children and families (Section 3)
		Young carer needs assessments and uptake of services (Section 4)
		Support propositions: views of young carers and their families (Section 5)
1. Introduction
	1.2. Background
	1.3. Methodology
		Research ethics
		Analysis and reporting
	1.4. Report outline
2. Understanding the context of caring: young carers and their families
	2.1. Profile of young carers and their families
	2.2. Caring needs within the home
	2.3. Talking about conditions and caring within families
	2.4. The nature of young carers’ responsibilities
	2.5. Factors influencing the roles/responsibilities of young carers
	2.6. Summary of the chapter
3. Experiences and impact of caring on children and families
	3.1. Views and impacts of caring
	3.2. Perceptions of the ‘young carer’ identity
	3.3. Summary of the chapter
4. Young carer ‘identification’ and uptake of services: views of young carers and their families
	4.1. Experiences of contact and identification with young carers’ services and support agencies
	4.2. Experiences of receiving support
	4.3. Summary of the chapter
5. Support propositions: views of young carers and their families
	5.1. Overall gaps and improvements identified
		5.2. Views on the usefulness and impact of potential support propositions
		5.3. Summary of the chapter
6. Conclusions
	6.1. Key Findings
		6.2. Messages from children and families
References
Appendix A: Propositions tested with young carers and their families
Appendix B: Topic guides and stimulus
DfE Young Carers Research Topic Guide - Family Visits
A.  General Introduction to the visit (20–30mins)
B.  Exploring the family dynamic (15-25mins)
C. Parent/guardian/sibling follow up interview (50-60mins)
D. Private, semi-structured interviews with carers (45-75 mins)
DfE Young Carers Research Topic Guide – Validation Workshops
A. General Introduction to the workshop (2 mins)
B.    Introductions (5 mins)
C.    Experience of caring (20mins)
D.    Experience of supports and assessments (25-30 min)
E. Prioritising support (25 mins)
F. Looking forward (5 mins)
G. Summing up (5-10 mins)
Appendix C: Research ethics
	Consent to take part in the research
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

The lives of young
carers in England
Qualitative report to DfE

February 2016

TNS BMRB
Dan Clay

Caitlin Connors

Naomi Day

Marina Gkiza

with

Professor Jo Aldridge,
Young Carers Research Group, Loughborough University

Page 2

Contents

List of tables 5

Executive Summary 6

Overview 6

Background 6

Methodology 7

Key findings 7

Understanding the context of caring: young carers and their families (Section 2) 7

Experiences and impact of caring on children and families (Section 3) 8

Young carer needs assessments and uptake of services (Section 4) 9

Support propositions: views of young carers and their families (Section 5) 10

1. Introduction 12

1.2. Background 12

1.3. Methodology 14

Research ethics 17

Analysis and reporting 17

1.4. Report outline 18

2. Understanding the context of caring: young carers and their families 20

2.1. Profile of young carers and their families 20

2.2. Caring needs within the home 24

2.3. Talking about conditions and caring within families 27

2.4. The nature of young carers’ responsibilities 29

2.5. Factors influencing the roles/responsibilities of young carers 31

2.6. Summary of the chapter 35

3. Experiences and impact of caring on children and families 37

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the nature of support services, and allaying parental concerns around the consequences
of requesting/accessing support, helped to facilitate access to young carers’ services.

Informal family support – talking and/or sharing responsibilities with family members –
was a key source of support for many young carers where available, helping to reduce
stress and develop coping strategies. Likewise, friends and time spent engaging in social
activities helped young carers to feel more “normal” and engage in non-caring related
conversations and activities.

Young carers’ projects were an important source of formal support for young carers.
While young carers and parents were initially apprehensive of attending a project, this
was quickly overcome and most young carers found projects a place to gain respite from
caring. Having caring in common made it easier for these children and young people to
open up in conversation about caring – something that was valued. Projects also
provided access to fun activities, as well as information, advice and advocacy, although
provision varied across groups. As young carers became older it was evident that they
sought to engage with a wider peer group, and relied less on young carers’ projects.
Young carers and parents both expressed a desire for young carers’ projects to provide
support for families to spend more time together.

Some schools provided support to those children who were identified as young carers,
ranging from personalised teaching/pastoral support, access to homework clubs or
afterschool provision, and greater flexibility in school/class attendance. The actual
experience of support varied greatly among young carers. In some cases support
reduced the emotional and educational impact of caring, but in other cases it was
inconsistently provided due to a lack of shared information/understanding between
teachers.

Children’s social services had limited contact with young carers about their caring role,
although some did have a key worker who discussed the impact of caring and made
referrals to young carers’ services. Often contact with social services was in respect of
the cared-for parent/sibling, or as a result of other issues within the family. There tended
to be a high degree of distrust in social services because families were worried about the
appropriateness of support and family separation, and therefore both children and their
parents were reluctant to disclose information about caring responsibilities for fear of
potential repercussions.

Other support accessed by some young carers was delivered through health services
(e.g. CAMHS), although this tended to be for wider issues experienced by these children
(e.g. coping with family breakdown or bullying) rather than their caring role specifically.
Some young carers discussed the health support that their parent/sibling received. While

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this was seen to be beneficial by some young carers, others said they would like to be
more included in discussions that took place between parents and health professionals.



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Support information







Need some help?

If you feel you want to talk to someone to get support, advice or information, you might
want to contact one of the organisations specialising in providing services to children and
families below.



 Carers Trust
www.carers.org and www.youngcarers.net

0844 800 4361

 The Children’s Society
www.childrenssociety.org.uk

0300 303 7000

 Barnardos
www.barnardos.org.uk

 NSPCC
www.nspcc.org.uk

0800 1111

 Childline
www.childline.org.uk

0800 1111



How families care for each other

134

Page 135

© TNS BMRB

Reference: DFE-RR499

ISBN: 978-1-78105-555-7

This research was commissioned under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal
Democrat coalition government. As a result the content may not reflect current
Government policy. The views expressed in this report are the authors’ and do not
necessarily reflect those of the Department for Education.

Any enquiries regarding this publication should be sent to us at:
[email protected] or www.education.gov.uk/contactus

This document is available for download at www.gov.uk/government/publications



135

http://www.education.gov.uk/contactus
http://www.gov.uk/government/publications

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