‘It's making his bad days into my bad days’: The impact of coronavirus social distancing measures on young carers and young adult carers in the United Kingdom

Kate Blake-Holmes, Andy McGowan

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Abstract

The lockdown measures put in place in March 2020 in England to counter the spread of the coronavirus have had significant implications for the lives and well-being of young carers and young adult carers. In such unprecedented times, little was known about the potential impact on this group and their specific experience of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. A rapid review was conducted, 28 young carers responded to a survey and an additional 20 participants were interviewed in January 2021; the survey was repeated with a further 149 responses. Findings show that the level of care that young carers are required to provide had increased as external agency support for their families had been withdrawn while their own coping strategies had been challenged, in particular through school closures. These restrictions had a significant impact on every aspect of their lives, from their ability to meet their own mental health needs to managing the requirements of home schooling. The needs of young carers should be acknowledged within the political agenda, especially at times of crisis. It is crucial that health and social care services increase their capacity to identify and support young carers and that work is done within educational settings to provide a flexible response to individual needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalChild & Family Social Work
Volume27
Issue number1
Early online date13 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Coronavirus
  • Policy
  • Young Adult Carer
  • Young Carer

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