In early September 2023 within the European NEXUS project, the Italian teams of Italian Institute of Health and Science on Aging (INRCA) and Anziani e non solo (ANS) carried out two FOCUS GROUP with 10 youth workers (teachers and social workers) and researchers to discuss about their personal experience with young carers. In details, the participants went through the young careres’ definition and difficulties, and also the methods the experts use in the daily work to identify, involve and engage young people in psycho-social and educational and support interventions. The results of the focus groups will contribute to define the NEXUS training curriculum targeted to social workers together with tips for the connection of practices to policy.
We don’t want to spoil the results, but here’s a sneak peek: Italian experts stress the importance of a broader definition of young carers, that includes young people from immigrant families and those facing challenging family situations, such as those living in families with single moms. The professionals aren’t quite in the loop about and aren’t using participatory research methods with young carers.
There’s a lot of work ahead to make young carers more visible, especially to teachers and social workers. In the end, to support young carers, we need to raise awareness and empower the entire community, not just public services.
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