Summary of key themes
Key themes emerging from the focus groups have included:
Understanding and connecting with terminology
Whilst most attendees felt that they understood or connected with the term “young carer” there was a lack of consensus about how this term could be defined, particularly in terms of the age bracket that it would refer to.
The impact of being a young carer
Participants described the impact that their caring role has on their lives – many felt that they didn’t have enough time for their education, to get a part time job, or for socialising. Others described mental health impacts including stress and anxiety.
Reaching out to young carers
Participants described an inconsistent picture of the support available to young carers across Scotland. This could vary greatly depending on individual schools and teachers. Young Carer Groups were seen as an important support mechanism through which the young carer could meet others in a similar position and learn new skills.
Eligibility: time spent caring
Some respondents said that they felt that 16 hours caring per week was “reasonable” in order to be eligible. Others said that they would find this very difficult to quantify or that it varies a lot.
Eligibility: duration of caring
Many respondents felt that 3 months was a “reasonable” amount of time for a young person to have been caring in order to apply for the grant, however some said it is difficult to say how long they have been caring, or felt that there should be some exceptions.
Applying for the grant
Key factors in making the application process as easy as possible included a short form, with easy language, and making sure the questions are easy and don’t repeat themselves. The form should also be available in a wide range of formats.
What would you spend it on?
There was a wide variety of things that young carers would spend the grant on. Many of the items were practical, including travel costs, clothes, or household items, and other suggestions included holidays or trips, socialising, and things for their family or cared for person.
Questions about the grant
Participants raised a number of questions or concerns about the grant. These include questions around the age criteria, number of people who can claim the grant in the household, number of people that you care for, and the amount of the grant.
Email: Catherine Henry