Across Europe, 7-8% of children are young carers, i.e., children and young people who provide care for a relative or friend with long-lasting limitations (e.g., chronic illness, disability, frailty or addiction). They are still too often invisible and their needs for support are not met, resulting in a negative impact on their transition to adulthood, social inclusion, education and employability.
The Horizon 2020 ME-WE project – Psychosocial Support for Promoting Mental Health and Well-being among Adolescent Young Carers in Europe- aims to strengthen the resilience of Adolescent Young Carers (15-17 years old) in order to impact positively on their mental health and well-being. Over the 42 months duration of the project (January 2018- June 2021), the project partners (research institutes and NGOs from Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, UK Italy and Slovenia, plus Eurocarers), led by Prof. Elizabeth Hanson and team at Linnaeus University Sweden, have worked relentlessly to influence policies and practices all across Europe, so that young carers can be identified, supported and listened to.
Do you want to know what you can do to enable young carers to fully enjoy their human rights?
Check the resources developed in the framework of the project:
- A series of Policy briefs – 6 country specific (Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and UK) and 1 European– conveying in layperson terms the research findings (on profiles and needs of young carers, legislation and policies and successful strategies to support them) and identifying policy recommendations.
- The Manual ‘My day only starts when I finish school – Multi-stakeholders’ actions to support Young Carersl’, investigating the concrete actions that can be undertaken by different stakeholders (e.g. policy makers, health and social care providers, school professionals, youth, care workers, the media and the general public) to identify, support and listen to young carers.
- The online ME-WE booklet – created by young carers for young carers- containing testimonials and tips to enable young carers to take care of themselves (while caring for another person) and to achieve their goals in life.
- Briefs on the ME-WE primary prevention intervention to strengthen young carers’ resilience – tested, adapted and evaluated in 6 European countries- and on the ME-WE young carers app which will be available on the project website in July 2021.
Do you want to access a programme combining 80 presentations from researchers, practitioners and young carers on the topics Identify, Support and Listen to young carers, plus keynote speeches – among others- by UNICEF and Eurochild? Register to the 3rd International Young Carers Conference (the recordings are still available until 6 July 2021).
Remember: we all have a role to play to enable young carers to thrive!
In the words of project partner, Prof. Saul Becker (University of Cambridge, UK): “We should never underestimate the power of individuals to make a difference. You could be one of those people. You just might not know it yet.”