Making the transition to adulthood: framework and resources for young adult carers

13 June 2018

This week is Carers Week, when organisations across the country celebrate the hugely valuable contribution that carers of all ages make to our society. To mark this important campaign, Learning and Work Institute is pleased to announce the launch of a new resource for young adult carers: Making the Transition to Adulthood: Framework and Resources for Young Adult Carers.

The theme of Carers Week 2018 is helping carers to feel healthy and connected. This is particularly important for the one in 20 young people aged 16-24 in England who is a carer. In total, they provide over £5.5 billion worth of care every year, often at serious costs to themselves. The physical and emotional strain of caring often seriously impacts on these young people’s educational attainment, opportunities to socialise and develop support networks, and their ability to think about their plans and aspirations for the future. Their choice of jobs and careers are also likely to be affected, as they tend to limit their job searches to local, part-time roles which they can fit around their caring. These factors all contribute to making the transition to adulthood extremely challenging for young adult carers.

Developed in partnership with carers’ services and young adult carers, the Making the Transition framework aims to support young adult carers to overcome some of these challenges. It provides practical resources and activities that carers services can use with young adult carers to help them think about their needs; make decisions about working, learning and living; and plan for the future, as they move into adulthood.

The framework and resources are completely flexible and can be adapted in whichever way is most likely to engage young people and meet their needs most effectively. Some activities can be used when working one-to-one with a young adult carer and others are best delivered with a group. Alternatively, the framework can be used in a more structured way, with young people working through the modules in one section before moving on to another.

Nicola Aylward, head of learning for young people, said:

“Young adult carers face a range of challenges when making the transition into adulthood. Their caring responsibilities often mean that they do not have the qualifications or experience needed to progress into their desired careers. They also might not have the time or space to explore their values, think about their career aspirations or make plans for their future. This can mean that they get trapped in low-paid, insecure work with little opportunity for progression.

“Making the Transition aims to provide carers services with a flexible framework and set of resources to help young adult carers take stock of their experiences and reflect on who they are, manage their day-to-day lives and take steps toward achieving their plans for learning and work.”