Lauren Donnan, young carer

Lauren Donnan, a former young carer and PhD student at the University of Auckland, wants to help set up the support all young carers need.

Her research looks into the lives and experiences of young carers in the country and she’s interviewed almost 40 current and former young carers as part of her work.

But she’s wary of focusing solely on the negatives without taking in consideration how much caring benefits young people.

“One of the things that really stuck out for me in the interviews was that the young carers would never take that caring experience back. They loved it, and if anyone had tried to take it away, they wouldn’t have let them.”

Before being able to put support in place for the carers, says Lauren, young New Zealanders first have to recognise that they are young carers.

“If you don’t know something exists, how can you see it and how can you help? It’s about how we reach young carers to self-identify.”

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2 thoughts on “Lauren Donnan, young carer

  1. (radio interview)This supports the idea of people needing to be informed that they are carers in the first place. Acknowledgement and connection to other people that are ‘hidden’. ‘How do you interview people that don’t even know they exist.’ Video in social media was the only way they connected through Donnans story. Invisibility of young caring, teachers, social workers, families, hospitals. Types of care and length of care can effect them sporadically. -Authorities, may be a major player in people not knowing in the fair of them being taken away, opposed to them helping as is expected. Loneliness and isolation, difficulty in connecting to other kids problems. Difficult in disconnecting with their caring persona, seen as naughty kids or truant, reinforcing the idea of the obstacle of letting people know due to the fear of being taken away. Saul made an estimation of 8% of kids are carers, a lot are maori or pacifica. Often different carers coming to houses, culturally inappropriate helping. UK and Au have more help for young carers. School support is called for and needs assessments.

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