The 2021 cross-national and comparative classification of in-country awareness and policy responses to ‘young carers’
- Agnes Leu, Fabian Marc Pascal Berger, Malla Heino, Henk Herman Nap, Aurélie Untas, Licia Boccaletti, Feylyn Lewis, Daniel Phelps, Sara Santini, Barbara D'Amen, Marco Socci, Valentina Hlebec, Tatjana Rakar, Lennart Magnusson, Elizabeth Hanson, Saul Becker
- The 2021 cross-national and comparative classification of in-country awareness and policy responses to ‘young carers’
- Journal of Youth Studies
Many children under the age of 18 are drawn into unpaid caring roles because they live in families where there is chronic illness, mental health problems or substance misuse, and because other alternatives are not available. Many of these children, widely referred to as ‘young carers’, provides regular and significant amounts of care, often ‘hidden’ because of the absence of awareness by professionals in the fields of education, health and social care. While there are some positive outcomes for children, published research also shows that children’s caring tasks can have negative outcomes, especially during the transition between school and further/higher education and paid work. This paper presents an overview, cross-national and comparative analysis of the different legislation, policy and service frameworks to support young carers in a number of countries. It utilises a qualitative assessment approach and a 7-point classification to understand the state of development and progress since 2017. While the legislation, policy and service frameworks differ significantly among the observed countries, an international and collaborative research network has emerged in the last five years. This plays a vital role as a driver for increasing the awareness of young carers and further national and cross-national policy developments in the future.