Research to promote the voices of young carers through this global pandemic

15th April 2020

Understanding how the needs of young carers are being managed in the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic

Researcher: Dr Kate Blake-Holmes, Centre for Research on Children and Families (University of East Anglia) in partnership with Caring Together and Norfolk Young Carers Forum

The COVID – 19 (Corona) virus will undoubtedly have far reaching implications for young carers. While it would seem that children and young people are less likely to experience significant physiological effects from the virus itself, the indirect impact of attempts to counter the spread of the virus are highly likely to have a major impact on their psychological well-being. Alongside this, the health, social care and education systems that are currently in place to support and safeguard young carers and their families are struggling under increased pressure and potentially drawing their focus away from the often hidden and marginalised needs of young carers.

The needs of young carers are often marginalised, their voices unheard, as such it is vital that we are able to collectively raise awareness of their current needs and concerns.

This research seeks to explore:

  • What are the current needs, experiences and concerns of young carers?
  • How are services identifying and responding to the needs of young carers?
  • What are the key problems/barriers/challenges to young carers feeling supported and what is working well?
  • What guidance, practice developments are already in place?

Ways this project could benefit young carers during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Increased recognition of young people providing care – promote an awareness across services to be mindful of the impact that changes in service provision will have on young carers.
  • Capture the views of young carers about their current experiences in order to inform the provision of effective support and identify urgent support needs.
  • Recommend that any child living with a parent with long term physical health condition, disability or mental ill health is considered as a young carer throughout this pandemic.

If you are a young carer (aged 14 or above), being cared for by a young carer or a professional working with people giving or receiving support, I would very much like to hear from you.

If you would like more information about how to be part of this research, please contact either:

Kate Blake-Holmes –School of Social Work: UEA – kate.blake-holmes@uea.ac.uk

Andy McGowan – Head of Carer Services: Caring Together – Andy.McGowan@caringtogether.org

Back to Blog