Young Carers and COVID-19: The Invisible Front-Line Workers

Martin, Stephanie
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University of Guelph

This study (apart of a larger SSHRC-funded research study) is a qualitative exploration of the experiences and perceptions of young carers in Ontario during phase 1 and 2 of COVID-19. Four individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 participated in semi-structured interviews and daily diaries to share their caregiving experiences at two different time points during the initial onset of the pandemic. Using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) thematic analysis to analyse Time 1 and Time 2 interviews, I found four main themes consistent in participant responses: (1) COVID-19 has provided young carers more time; (2) Caregiving during COVID-19 is challenging; (3) Support systems for young carers during COVID-19; (4) Recommended future supports for young carers. The findings of this study reinforce the importance of contextualizing young carers’ experiences in order to best approach future research as well as program and policy development.

Young Carers, COVID-19, Ontario