Ten percent of young Dutch people is raised in a household with a parent or sibling who is chronically ill. They are expected to take up their (in)voluntary role as informal caregiver, and are therefore also known as ‘jonge mantelzorgers’ (young informal caregivers). Many of these young informal caregivers are still in school. So far, little is known about how their role of informal caregiver affects their education. On the one hand, it is very well possible that these young informal caregivers need to be relieved of their caregiving duties so that they can finish their education in an optimal manner as well as within the given time frame. On the other hand, it is also plausible that the role of informal caregiver greatly increases their sense of responsibility.
The expertise lab ‘Young Informal Caregivers’ collaborates with care giving students on ideas for interventions that can assist them and increase their resilience regarding their care taking duties. Ultimately, they will be the ones who will call on supporting services (be it in an organizational, societal, material and/or digital way) to help them face the challenges of simultaneously following classes and giving care to a parent or sibling. The ultimate goal is to provide a level playing field for all students’ academic careers and to help shape an inclusive and meaningful society.