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'They just don't get it.'

Young adult carers experience significant disadvantage as a result of their caring responsibilities--not least in education. While there is some creative and flexible provision out there, the author stresses that too often providers fail to take account of the specific needs and responsibilities of young carers. The author presents the comments made by young adult carers who participated in focus groups and interviews as part of recent NIACE research, "Access to Education and Training for Young Adult Carers," funded by the Nuffield Foundation. They give an indication of the day-to-day difficulties faced by these young people. NIACE's research identified a range of factors that can have a positive impact upon young adult carers' engagement in learning and improve their wellbeing, these include: (1) flexible provision; (2) relaxed provision; (3) sensitive arrangements; (4) emotional support; (5) Holistic support; and (6) effective multi-agency working. Building on the findings of this research, NIACE has recently secured funding from the Department of Health's Third Sector Investment Programme for a project called "Who Cares? Promoting Family Focused Learning Opportunities for Young Adult Carers." This project will support practitioners who work with young adult carers to develop learning opportunities that are family-focused and responsive to their needs.

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Adults Learning
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