Young Carers and Cultural Awareness

Young Carers and Cultural Awareness

Young carers from some groups and communities may have particular needs and experience specific barriers to accessing and engaging with support.

Key Points: 

  • The specific needs and experiences of young carers and families from diverse communities
  • Embedding cultural inclusivity in developing services for young carers and families
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Date Revised: 
25/11/14

According to the 2011 census young carers are 1.5 times more likely to be from black, Asian and minority ethnic families. This will partly be due to health inequalities experienced in different communities. These young carers and their families may have specific needs and face particular barriers to accessing support.

Needs and experiences of young carers and families from diverse communities

Young carers from some groups and communities may have particular needs and experience specific barriers to accessing and engaging with support including:

  • Less awareness of services or support available to them.
  • Hesitancy to involve services with their family.
  • Language barriers and children sometimes need supporting with translation for the person with care needs and the family.
  • Different cultural attitudes towards caring which may result in different expectations from family members including children, men and women.
  • Caring for others in the community outside the family may also be expected.

As a result some young people may be even less likely to recognise themselves as carers.

Embedding Cultural Inclusivity in developing services for young carers and families

It is vital that all local needs assessments involve research into diverse communities and reveal those young carers who may face stigma or are harder to reach  in order that appropriate specialised support is developed. Different communities should be consulted and involved in the planning and development of services in order to ensure that cultural inclusivity is embedded. Awareness raising of professionals, promotion of services and information for young people and families all need to be considered through a culturally aware lens.

Research by Carers UK shows that black, Asian and minority ethnic carers are particularly likely to make use of direct payments because they are able to buy more culturally sensitive services.

Practice examples

Supporting young carers from families affected by HIV

PDF iconAn inititative that works closely with families affected by HIV, as well as faith and community leaders, schools, local social services and GPs to provide all round support for young carers.

Supporting refugee young carers and their families

The refugee toolkit is for all practitioners, and was developed by The Children’s Society Family Health Inclusion Project. This practice resource is designed to enable all service providers to stay informed about the needs, rights and entitlements of refugee and asylum seeker young carers and their families and to carry out effective and appropriate signposting and joint working.