Home > Study of young carers in the Irish population. Executive summary.

Fives, Allyn and Kennan, Danielle and Canavan, John and Brady, Bernadine and Cairns, David (2010) Study of young carers in the Irish population. Executive summary. Dublin: Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

PDF (Young carers - summary) - Published Version

The term "young carers" refers to children and young people under the age of 18 whose lives are affected in some significant way by the care needs of another family or household member and who provide care, or help to provide care, to that person. Traditionally, the focus of carerorientated policy has been on adult carers. However, in the past 15 years there has been growing awareness of and interest in young carers. A number of key issues have emerged in the literature on young carers: - the definition of a young carer; - the impacts, both positive and negative, of caring on a child or young person; - the invisibility of young carers and mechanisms that can be used to identify them; - the services that are or should be provided to young carers.

With regard to methodological limitations, the research team failed to recruit and interview children and young people of parents with drug and alcohol addictions. It is, therefore, likely that the final sample does not include the most vulnerable categories of young carers. Given that the young participants were recruited on the basis of their parent’s or guardian’s consent, however, it was thought that the parents of vulnerable children would be less likely to volunteer information about their family life or to encourage outside interest in their family.

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