2nd International Young Carers Conference – why the conference is important

We have asked some experts to share their thoughts on the challenges of young carers and why the 2nd International Young Carers Conference and is important.

-This conference is a great opportunity for politicians, managers, professionals, researchers and representatives of voluntary organizations from the whole world to meet and exchange experiences and learn from each other, says Elizabeth Hanson, research and development leader, Nka.

Elizabeth Hanson

-The aim of the conference is in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The conference is an opportunity for us to contribute to increased awareness, generate debate, and improve support for young carers and bring the issue forward on a national and international level, says Elizabeth Hanson.

A neglected question

- I would say that in the social arena in Sweden this is an almost completely neglected question, says the national economist Ingvar Nilsson who has dedicated 35 years to count the price of alienation and exclusion.

Ingvar Nilsson

-The Conference is important just to show the problem, make it visible to decision makers. That's the most important part of it. Make it to an issue to discuss in the social, political agenda, says Ingvar Nilsson.

The ability to come together

- The remaining challenges are to get more countries engaged and identify what services we should put in place and what interventions we should put in place, and what actually works, what makes a difference to improve the lives of young carers and their families, says Saul Becker, Professor and Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Birmingham.

Saul Becker

- It's so important that academics, policy makers, practitioners and professionals from a wide range of sectors have the ability to come together and talk about young carers. Who they are, what they do, and what kind of services and interventions we are putting in place so we can share good practice. We can identify what seems to work to improve the lives for young carers and their families and what does not seem to be so effective. So we can move the whole debate and awareness of young carers forward globally, says Saul Becker.

A manifestation of research

- Sustainable collaboration within and between businesses and units seems to be a constant challenge. The implementation takes time and therefore we must invest in sustainable structures that are not tied to specific persons or terminated after temporary project initiatives, says Merike Hansson, researcher at the National Board of Health and Welfare.

Merike Hansson

- The conference will be a common manifestation of research that shows how important it is to invest early and proactively to prevent that problems are passed on for generations. We have much to tell - but also much to learn from other countries, says Merike Hansson.

An eye opener for children's rights

- The main challenge is to pay attention to children in adult care. Views on health need to be developed so that the importance of living conditions for good health gets attention, says Marie Köhler, head of unit and child health chief physician at the competence centre child care and competence centre women's health, Skånevård Sund.

Maria Köhler

- The conference provides the opportunity for researchers and practitioners to come together in a very important subject to gain new knowledge and share their experiences. To network and find new ways to drive issues. The ambition is that the rest of society, for example through media coverage of the conference, can get an eye opener for the issue - specifically for children's rights, says Marie Köhler.

Senast uppdaterad 2017-02-07 av Emil Svensson, ansvarig utgivare Lennart Magnusson