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Sharing the Caring: Young Carers Access to and Experience of Carer Supports in Ireland

YOUNGCARERS, a partnership between UCC, Family Carers Ireland (FCI) and the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU), will explore how best to support young carers, based on participatory workshops with two age cohorts aged 10-17 and 18-24 years. 


Young carers face significant obstacles in accessing services and supports, with consequences for participation in society, education, training and employment. In 2018 a national study of 15,557 school-age children found that young carers reported poorer outcomes in relation to health and well-being and scored lower for life satisfaction than their non-carer peers (FCI, 2020). Furthermore, many young carers remain ‘hidden’ and beyond the reach of services and supports designed to help them in their caring role.

Aims and objectives

YOUNGCARERS overall aim is to recognise, better support and improve the lives of young carers in Ireland. The project will:

  1. Explore young carer experiences, needs and challenges using deliberative participatory approaches
  2. Co-design proposals for supports with young carers to be implemented by FCI using deliberative participatory approaches
  3. Co-develop, communicate and translate workshop outputs to provide an evidence-base for FCI and ISSU to advocate for young carers and form a basis for future funding bids for national rollout and implementation.

The project is based on six deliberative participatory workshops which will:

 (a) explore young carers’ experiences and needs; and

(b) co-design proposals for more targeted carer supports to best meet these needs.

The workshops will be developed around the following themes:  young carers experiences of caring;  young carers and education;  young carers and social supports; and young carers and policy. Three of the half-day workshops will involve young carers between 10-17 years, while the remaining three will be held with young adult carers between 18-24 years.


The project report Sharing the Caring: Young carers' experiences and access to supports in Ireland was launched on 7 March 2023. Further details available here 

Funder & Dates

This project is funded under the New Foundations 2021 Programme from December 2021 - March 2023.

Project Team:

Dr Carol Kelleher (PI), Dept. of Management and Marketing and ISS21, UCC.

Dr. Nikki Dunne (Research Officer) and Patrick McGrath (Young Carers Team Lead), Family Carers Ireland.

Jack McGinn, Education Officer, Irish Second-Level Students Union (ISSU).

For further details contact 




Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

Top Floor, Carrigbawn/Safari Building, Donovan Road, Cork, T12 YE30