Young carers

Past research into young carers has often involved recruitment through specialist services or carers’ groups, or through large surveys or the census. This has generated much useful evidence but due to the small sample sizes and possible under identification of young carers, questions remained as to how comparable some of the evidence was within a wider population.

In 2017, we undertook research using a population survey of school pupils in Glasgow. Almost one in eight pupils reported caring for someone in the household. Those caring were more likely not to see themselves entering further or higher education compared with their counterparts. They also reported poorer health, particularly if caring for someone with mental health or addictions issues. The report found that Glasgow could have many more carers than previously thought, therefore a whole systems approach across public services may be required to ensure that all carers have control over their lives and adequate support to realise their full potential.  

We undertook further analysis using school survey data for Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde. In some ways the reports had similar findings to the Glasgow study, with numbers of young carers appearing higher than previously thought, but as might be expected, there were differences in outcomes for the young carers between each geographical area.

Download the Glasgow report
Download the Renfrewshire report (PDF)
Download the East Dunbartonshire report (PDF) 
Download the Inverclyde report (PDF)

In 2018, new Scottish Government legislation placed a duty on local authorities and health boards to provide support to carers, based on identified needs. More recently, from October 2019 onwards young carers in Scotland can now receive new financial support. The Young Carer Grant will be available for 16-18 year olds who spend an average of 16 hours caring for someone who receives a disability benefit.

Read a blog on the Glasgow 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