Ecorys study suggests there are more young carers than identified in the Census| Social Policy, Public Sector Reform
There are likely to be more young carers than identified the 2011 Census, an Ecorys study for Surrey Young Carers, part of charity Action for Carers Surrey, has found.
A survey of 11 secondary schools in Surrey found schools identified 4% of their pupils were young carers. This compares to the 2011 Census which found around 2% of young people were young carers.
The questionnaire used in the Ecorys study could be used by schools, local authorities, government, national bodies or charities to easily estimate a minimum threshold for the actual number of young carers, being based on schools’ self-reported data. The questionnaire was simple for schools to administer and generated a relatively large sample size for a study of its size.
The findings from the study also suggest that involvement in initiatives such as the Angel Award and the Young Carers in Schools Award may have stimulated schools to identify young carers. This suggests the role these initiatives can play in identifying young carers can be potentially significant, even though Government legislation (the Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014) already place a legal duty on local authorities to identify young carers and carry out young carers’ needs assessments.
In addition, the study found that schools involved in increasing levels of activity to support young carers subsequently identify more young carers. In other words, the more schools involve themselves in initiatives to support young carers, the more young carers are identified.
The study emphasises the need to identify and support young carers, particularly in the current climate, as wider research has found that young carers can face social isolation.
The study follows on from Ecorys’ previous report for Surrey Young Carers which outlined the economic case for supporting young carers.
For further information on Surrey Young Carers and Action for Carers Surrey please visit: https://www.actionforcarers.org.uk