Nearly 80% of young adult carers are not receiving the support they need, research published by the Carers Trust has found.
The survey of 295 young carers found only 22% had received a formal assessment of their needs by the local authority. It was the first large-scale survey of its kind for carers aged 14-25,
This could mean that more than 200,000 young people and their families are not receiving adequate support if these findings are consistent across the whole young adult carer population.
Under half of those surveyed reported that their family had received good support and services.
Higher rates of poor mental and physical health, missing an average of 48 schools days and being more likely to be out of education, employment or training are all problems that young adult carers are facing, the report found.
Nearly half (45%) of young adult carers who responded to the survey reported suffering from a mental health problem such as anxiety, depression or eating disorders.
Dr Moira Fraser, interim chief executive of Carers Trust, said the research showed the “scandalous” difficulties faced by young carers.
“They are not being identified and supported, and that means they face many barriers that will have a real and lasting impact on their future,” she said.
Including young adult carers in additional financial support programmes, such as Pupil Premium, was one of the report’s recommendations, as was sufficiently funding the implementation of the Care and Children and Families Acts 2014.
Both the Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014 place new duties on local authorities relating to young carer assessments. Under the Children and Families Act, councils must assess the needs of carers who are under the age of 18. Under the Care Act, councils must assess the support needs of young carers approaching transition. These come into force April next year.