University of Sussex

Giving a voice to young carers

Professor Saul Becker, a world-leading expert on young carers, is giving a voice to children who are providing care to family members who are ill, disabled or have mental health or addiction problems. His research was the first to establish that these children face significant impacts on their mental health, wellbeing, education and development.

For almost 30 years, Professor Becker has conducted research into the lives of young carers, attracting funding for 50 projects and writing hundreds of articles, papers, reports and books on the topic. He has advised governments, policy makers and practitioners in the UK and internationally on the issues facing young carers and his work has informed the development of policy, law and professional practice in several countries. 

A carer himself as a child and an adult, and a registered social worker, Professor Becker draws on his personal and professional experiences to inform his research, public engagement and policy reccommendations. His drive and focus on placing young carers themselves at the centre of debates and policy decisions has given hope to hundreds of thousands of young carers in the UK and internationally. 

His current project is Europe’s first-ever study into young carers across six countries, including some, such as Slovenia, who have no knowledge of their young carers. Through surveys and interviews of well over a thousand young carers and analysing policy frameworks and good practices, the pan-European team is developing an innovative framework of mental health interventions to be adapted and tested in six countries.