Our survey on the impact of Coronavirus on young carers and young adult carers in Scotland
The results of a Carers Trust Scotland survey into the impact of Coronavirus on young carers aged 12 to 17 and young adult carers aged 18 to 25 was published in July 2020. They point to a steep decline in the mental health and wellbeing of thousands of young people across Scotland who provide unpaid care at home for family members or friends.
Coronavirus increased pressures on young carers and young adult carers which is negatively impacted on their mental health and wellbeing
With 214 responses from across Scotland, our survey provides a base of evidence. It shows how worries relating to Coronavirus and increased isolation caused by the lockdown affected the mental health and wellbeing of Scotland's young people with caring responsibilities.
Even before the outbreak of Coronavirus, young carers and young adult carers were all too often spending significant amounts of time caring for a relative in addition to the time they needed to spend on education, work and time for themselves. Coronavirus significantly increased those pressures.
- 45% of young carers and 68% of young adult carers in Scotland said their mental health was worse since Coronavirus.
- 71% of young carers and 85% of young adult carers in Scotland were more worried about their futures since Coronavirus.
- 69% of young carers and 76% of young adult carers in Scotland felt more stressed since Coronavirus.
- 74% of young carers and 73% of young adult carers in Scotland felt less connected to others since Coronavirus.
- 58% of young carers in Scotland felt that their education had suffered since Coronavirus.
- 11% of both young and young adult carers in Scotland reported an increase of 30 hours or more in the amount of time they spent caring per week.
- 6% of young carers and 11% of young adult carers in Scotland spent over 90 hours a week caring for a family member or friend.
Based on the survey findings, Carers Trust Scotland called for:
- Greater prioritisation of mental health support for young carers. It is vital that mental health services and schools supporting a child or young person with their mental health ask about caring responsibilities and support that child or young person to get support with caring.
- Greater support from education providers and employers to help young carers and young adult carers to juggle their caring roles alongside school, college, university or work. Like other children and young people, they have goals and aspirations. Without the right support, young carers and young adult carers are at risk of lower exam results, and spending less time in education.
- Download the report about Scotland survey results: 2020 Vision: Hear Me, See Me, Support Me and don’t Forget Me.
- Download the key findings poster .
- Read our Carers Trust Scotland press release about the survey results.
- Find out more about the UK survey results.
In 2020, we heard from young carers and young adult carers aged between 12 and 25 years old to understand their experiences of living and caring throughout the Covid pandemic.
The young carers and young adult carers who shared their thoughts and experiences with us have been clear about what they want and need. This included support for their emotional wellbeing and mental health, and breaks from their caring role and the support of specialist young and young adult carer services.
We actively work with young carers and young adult carers to ensure that experiences and opinions are heard within the policymaking spaces.
Our report made recommendations, built from the experiences of young carer and young adult carer participants. These recommendations have been fed into numerous consultation exercises with Scottish Government and other policy makers; including into Scottish Government's National Carer Strategy, launched in December 2022.