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Covid-19 is affecting us all, however, it is likely to have a particularly negative impact on children who have caring responsibilities within their families – young carers.
Under normal circumstances, young carers are often anxious or worried about the health and wellbeing of the person they care for, their own health or whether the care that they provide is good enough. So with the current Covid-19 crisis, it is understandable that these concerns are magnified. At this time, there is the potential for young carers to experience further anxieties about the health of those they care for, especially if they are caring for somebody who is elderly or who has an ‘underlying health issue’. Additionally, with current restrictions on movement and schools and colleges all closed for the foreseeable future, young carers will inevitably experience greater levels of isolation and loneliness. These restrictions impact not only their social interactions but also the emotional support young people get from their friends and peers.
It’s important that over the next weeks or months, professionals and services working with young carers are aware of the potential additional concerns they may have and respond by keeping an extra eye out for them. Young carers may require more support than usual online, from helplines and from other support services such as counselling services. Some may also require more age-appropriate information.
Recommendations for youth services, schools and professionals working with young people: