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Young carers in Glasgow: health, wellbeing and future expectations

Date: August 2017
Category: Report
Work programme:
Author: Oonagh Robison, James Egan, Greig Inglis

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From April 2018 local authorities and health boards will be legally required to provide a ‘Young Carer Statement’ which identifies and provides eligible support to those providing care.  

This new study looks at the prevalence, health, and future expectations of young carers in Glasgow. NHS data from a health survey of more than 11,200 secondary school pupils was used to investigate the prevalence of young carers, and any differences in their health, wellbeing, and expectations after leaving school.  

The study found that there may be more young carers in Glasgow than previously thought.

The study also found that young carers were: 

  • more likely to receive free school meals, and live with just one parent
  • twice as likely to report having a limiting illness or disability themselves when compared with non-carers
  • have poorer physical and mental health outcomes, particularly among those caring for someone with mental health or addictions issues
  • less likely to see themselves entering further or higher education, even when taking into account background factors and the presence of household illness.

Almost 1-in-8 secondary pupils surveyed provided care. A third of those providing care said no one knew about it. 

An increase in the numbers coming forward for a ‘Young Carer Statement’ could present future challenges for a range of services in Glasgow and across Scotland. In particular, ensuring that young people feel comfortable enough to disclose their carer status, and that effective support measures are in place to improve their life chances.

Read a blog on this report's findings by Rebecca Rawlinson, Young Carer Education Worker.

Read an article by one of the report's authors Oonagh Robison in The Conversation.

Author’s note
In November 2017 this report was updated, due to the regression analysis having been conducted on a more restricted sample than required. While the headline results are unchanged by these updates, some of the individual figures have changed slightly due to the larger number of cases that were able to be included. The following figures have been updated:

Figures 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
Tables A1, A2, A3, A4.