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Tool to support young carers is piloted in Japan

A screening tool developed by Professor Jo Aldridge at Loughborough University is being used to better understand the prevalence of young carers living in Japan.

The questionnaire and screening tool is designed to help researchers and health, social care and education professionals estimate the numbers of children who may be living with or caring for a relative in the home who may have chronic illness, mental health problems or a disability.

It can also be used to gauge children’s level of understanding about their relative’s illness or disability, the nature and extent of children’s caring responsibilities, and their needs as carers.

The tool is being piloted by health and social care professionals in Japan to identify the numbers of young carers in the country so they can better support their needs and influence national policy.

Professor Aldridge, Director of the Young Carers Research Group at Loughborough University, said:

“The UK leads the way in respect of research, policy and practice on young carers and their families and other countries look to us to provide both an evidence base and guidance on how to identify and include young carers in health and social care policy and practice.

“We developed the questionnaire and screening tool in response to requests from researchers, policy makers and health, social care and education professionals in countries and regions where young carers are not identified in policy or practice, and where the needs of young carers and their families are not recognized.

“Our screening tool provides a tried and tested means of identifying young carers and their needs.”

Interest in the tool has also been received from Canada and North America.

A second screening tool has recently been launched to identify and support young carers of family members with a mental health problem.