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Qualitative evaluation of a young carers' initiative

This focus of this article is a qualitative, evaluative study of three Crossroads young carers projects. Focus group discussions took place with 24 young people aged 11-16 years. Data were analysed using a thematic content analysis approach. The themes of the research were: experiences of being a young carer, peer support, opportunities for time out and purposeful activities. The personal characteristics of the participants give rise to a number of worrying conclusions, that relatively young people were found to be undertaking primary caring roles over long periods of time. However, the groups were found to provide opportunities for young carers to experience a positive environment, participate in purposeful activities and have the chance to develop new friendships. Nevertheless, the literature suggests that provision of such projects is inadequate and under-resourced, which may disadvantage further a group of young people who are known to come from lower income families.

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Journal of Child Health Care

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