Young carers

Ensuring every child has the best start in life and enabling all people to maximize their capabilities and have control over their lives are the two highest priorities in the Fair Society Health Lives report (Marmot review of health inequalities).

In a recent report on improving young people’s life chances from Naomi Eisenstadt, young carers were highlighted as a group that needed attention. For young carers, caring can have a direct impact on health, wellbeing and mental health, which can also affect educational and employment outcomes. 

Previous research about young carers has often been undertaken with already identified carers, through specialist services or carers’ groups, or through large scale surveys or the census. Although much useful evidence has been generated around young carers, due to the small sample sizes and possible under identification of young carers, questions have been raised as to how comparable these outcomes are within a wider population. 

Adopting a public health approach, our work on this looks at the evidence around factors determining young carers’ life course and uses analysis of the 2014 NHS schools survey to explore these issues further. It also investigates the prevalence of young carers in Glasgow, and any difference in their health, wellbeing and expectations after leaving school. 

Download the Glasgow report

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 Dr Oonagh Robison in The Conversation


In 2018 additional analysis was carried out for Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde – three areas covered by the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde schools survey. In some ways the reports had similar findings to the Glasgow study, with numbers of young carers appearing higher than previously thought, but as you might expect, there were differences in outcomes for the young carers between each geographical area.

Download the Renfrewshire report

Download the East Dunbartonshire report

Download the Inverclyde report

Dr Oonagh Robison discusses these findings in her blog