Research finds that young carers are continually facing financial hardship

Date: 29th August 2014
Category: Young carers

The Scottish Youth Parliament has published a research report highlighting concerning levels of anxiety felt by young carers in Scotland.

The findings of the research report, 'A Costly Youth: The impact of caring on young people in Scotland,' highlight the impact of caring responsibilities on the opportunities of young people in education, their social development and the effects on their emotional wellbeing. This includes concerning levels of anxiety and pressure.

Many young people with caring responsibilities feel like their future opportunities and emotional wellbeing are compromised as a result of serious financial pressures.

Financial concerns have been found to have a very direct and negative impact on the majority of respondents' further and higher education experience.

Many of Scotland's young people who have caring responsibilities are unable to access the same opportunities as their peers. Due to the specific circumstances and caring responsibilities of young carers, their rights as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) are challenged and often denied. The report states that as a result of financial circumstances of many young carers, they are facing a standard of living crisis.

Under Article 27 of the UNCRC, the Scottish Government is obliged to recognise the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for their physical, mental, moral and social development.

Speaking about the publication of the research, Louise Cameron, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said:

"I am delighted that the Scottish Youth Parliament has conducted and published this youth-led research that highlights the hardship and daily challenges Scotland's young carers are facing.

Lauren King, a young carer and Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for Motherwell and Wishaw, said:

"As a young carer myself, I have to balance caring, attending university, and doing part-time work to make ends meet. It is extremely difficult when your financial situation dictates that a part-time job must be your priority. Young carers like myself always have to compromise."