Young adult carers aged 18 – 25

Time for Change is a 2-year project working with young adult carers (YACs) aged 16 -25 with funding from Carers Trust (until 2017). It complements the work that we do with young carers under 18, and will give good transitional support to those we are already working with aged 14 -16.

This is often a very difficult and traumatic stage in life.  Young adult carers find themselves juggling the demands of looking after a loved one alongside the strain of studying for exams, seeking work, applying for college and trying to find their own path in life.

Research shows that caring for a family member can have a huge impact on a young adult carer’s health, wellbeing and education. Young adult carers aged between 16 and 18 years are also twice as likely to be not in education, employment or training (NEET).

The service includes:

  • one-to-one support to a small number of the most in need YACs, helping them understand their rights and get the steer they need to make choices in life beyond their demanding caring roles – in education, health, housing and employment.
  • Caring with Confidence training to YACs to help them be better informed, feel more valued and more confident in their caring role.
  • a peer support group to enable young people to share experiences and feelings, build self-esteem and resilience.
  • identifying and providing support to YACs in further education colleges and universities, delivered in partnership with Young Carers in Education.
  • workshops for YACs, and training to employers, to improve education and work opportunities.

The issues for Young Adult Carers
We know, through census information, there are 4,000 young adult carers in Bristol and South Gloucestershire; and we suspect there are many more than this who are ‘hidden’ and not receiving any support.

Carers Trust’s Time to be Heard research (2013) revealed that young adult carers really struggle at school, college and university:

  • Young adult carers experiences of school revealed that one quarter of the young adult carers surveyed had been bullied at school specifically because of their caring role.
  • Two thirds of young adult carers still at school were providing a high or very high level of care
  • The majority of young adult carers (78%) considered they were doing well at school but less than half (48%) actually said they enjoyed school
  • A quarter (26%) were bullied at school because of their caring role
    Download the full research paper