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The Young Carers Project is a collaborative and interdisciplinary research project exploring how being a young carer may influence diverse aspects of life. Through innovative data analysis this study aims to visualize the role young carers play and identify areas to support them.

The long-term effects of being a young carer

young carers project
St Georges image  UCL image  Nuffield image  carers trust images 

Project Overview 

Unpaid carers play an indispensable role in providing assistance to individuals facing health challenges and daily struggles. Among these caregivers, young carers – children and adolescents who assume caregiving responsibilities – constitute a significant yet often overlooked group. Despite their invaluable contributions, the scarcity of research on young carers makes it challenging to provide them with effective support. 

As the population of the UK ages, the demand for family care has surged. Young people are increasingly shouldering caregiving responsibilities due to factors such as delayed parenthood and single-parent households. While the 2021 Census documented around 120,000 young carers under 18 in England and Wales, the actual numbers are likely higher. 

Enriching Insights Through Longitudinal Data 

The Young Carers Project addresses these knowledge gaps by leveraging data from four large-scale longitudinal studies representing the UK population. Longitudinal studies offer a deep understanding of caregiving's influence on health, education, employment, and social engagement over time.  

This longitudinal approach overcomes prior limitations and explores the relationships between being a young carer and its impact on various aspects of life. Through innovative data analysis, the project identifies vulnerable young carers and those with better-than-expected outcomes, shedding light on their specific needs and resilience factors.  

Empowering Young Carers: Our Vision 

Ultimately, our mission is to enhance the social well-being of young carers throughout their lifecourse. We aspire to secure recognition and assistance for their crucial contributions. By fostering a thorough comprehension of their experiences, our efforts aim to lead to policy changes and initiatives tailored to their specific needs. 

Our Team 

Our research team comprises: 

  • Dr. Alejandra Letelier, St George's University of London 

Supported by: 

  • Rohati Chapman, Carers Trust 

  • Vicky Morgan, Carers Trust 

  • Alice Reeves, Nuffield Foundation 

Collaborative Partnerships: 

We collaborate with a range of partners, among them the Carer Trust.  This project is generously funded by the Nuffield Foundation from 2023-2026.  

Engagement and Impact 

In collaboration with one of our project partners, the Carers Trust, we are working with an advisory panel of young carers who will actively influence the research and dissemination strategies. This panel will co-produce a project output as part of the Young Carers Action Day in 2025. 

The research findings will engage a diverse array of stakeholders, including young carers, policymakers, parliamentarians, care recipients, medical professionals, educators, and community leaders. This concerted effort seeks to raise awareness about the pivotal role young carers play and the imperative to identify and support them. 

The projects aim to shine a spotlight on the experiences of young carers and work collectively towards a society that recognizes and supports their invaluable contributions. 

Get in touch 

Useful links

Care trust homepage: Homepage - Carers Trust 

Nuffield foundation, project page: The long-term effects of being a young carer - Nuffield Foundation 


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