SEARCH Journal

Young Carers and the theological call of the Other

THE TERM ‘Young Carer’ refers to a child or young person under 24 whose life is affected by providing significant care, assistance, or support to a sick or disabled relative at home, including those with mental health conditions and/or addiction.

They are a ‘hidden’ group of young people. Carers of all ages often do not recognise that what they are doing out of love and duty for someone close to them - the most natural thing in the world for them to do - can be regarded as filling a caring role. Young carers are even less likely to be identified as filling such a role due to their age and a lack of awareness amongst people and organisations that young people are carrying out these tasks. In cases where they are helping a parent with mental ill health or addiction, they are even less likely to be identified. Even if a young person has identified themself or has been identified as a carer, their disclosing their situation to those around them, for example in education, is not guaranteed.

* Full article available in printed copies.

Allison Campbell

Is Research Associate at the Centre for Neurodevelopment and Intellectual Disabilities, Ulster University. Her 2020 doctorate from U.U. explored the educational Impact of being a Young Carer.


Andrew Campbell

Is Rector of Skerry, diocese of Connor, and Adjunct Lecturer in Theology at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute. He holds a PhD in systematic theology from Queens University Belfast.