Young carers voices need to be heard

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Carers Trust calls on Scottish Government to offer more help for young carers

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29th January 2015 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

Carers Trust Scotland has called on the Scottish Government to do more to help young adult carers aged 14-25.

At the launch of its Time to be Heard campaign at Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh the charity pleaded for the Scottish Government to listen to what young carers are telling it.

Its recommendations include working to identify young adult carers sooner and giving them more financial help by introducing free or concessionary public transport. It also called for carers aged 16-19 to be entitled to Education Maintenance Allowance if they are still in full-time education and not receiving other bursary sources or Carer’s Allowance.

Targeted young adult carer anti-bullying and mental health campaigns and projects should also be created.

The campaign follows on from a Carers Trust survey of 295 young adult carers.

This research shows young adult carers are experiencing alarming difficulties in their education and employment prospects, as well as their health and wellbeing

It found almost one in three young adult carers had to drop out of a university of college course due to the pressures of caring.

Young adult carers in work missed 17 days per year and had a further 79 days affected because of their caring responsibilities.

Of those still in school a quarter had experienced bullying because of their caring role and 45% of all young adult carers reported having mental health problems.

Florence Burke, director of Carers Trust Scotland, said: “This research shows young adult carers are experiencing alarming difficulties in their education and employment prospects, as well as their health and wellbeing.

"They are not being properly identified and supported, which means they face barriers that have a real and lasting impact on their future.

“However, there is a clear path forward. As part of the Time to be Heard campaign, we have outlined recommendations to the Scottish Government. If applied it would ensure young adult carers are protected from excessive caring responsibilities and can put their energy into education, training and employment.”