Roisin Barr carried out research into Young Carers on behalf of CFNI's VOICES programme.
Final VOICES Scholar researches Young Carers
In the last of our series of profiles, we meet Roisin Barr, who was carrying out research on behalf of the CFNI’s VOICES programme.
Hailing from Newcastle, County Down, Roisin has worked with a wide range of organisations ranging from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to Age Concern.
She attended Shimna Integrated College, continuing her studies at South Eastern Regional College and has recently graduated from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown with a 1st Class Honours degree in Health and Social Care Policy.
Roisin carried out research into young carers and young adult carers across Northern Ireland.
Young carers, aged under 18, and young adult carers, aged 18-25, are children and young people who carry out unpaid care within their household for a relative.
The role and demand varies from household to household and, in the worst case scenario, can see a very young child having to care for a relative, which can have a devastating effect on the child or young person’s life.
Some young carers receive support but this is widely seen as insufficient, with many carers remaining unidentified, receiving no support or guidance.
When asked why she took on this research, Roisin said: “I developed an interest in unpaid carers throughout my time at University, my course brought light to a role being carried out by individuals of all ages including those as young as 6 years of age.
“To gain a better understanding of carer’s roles and services I decided to do my final year dissertation on young carers and their transition into adulthood, including adult services.
“Through this piece of work I uncovered that the bulk of carer services are geared to those aged 45+ and therefore can be considered ‘age inappropriate’ for those aged under this age”.
Adding: “When a lecturer brought attention to the Voices Scholarship I felt this was the time to carry my research further and answer the questions that were raised from my first piece of work.
“By investigating the needs of all adult carers I hope ‘appropriate’ and worthwhile services can be put in place”.
On a personal note, Roisin said she hopes “this opportunity will better prepare me in the area of research, as this is the path I’m hoping to pursue.
“I’ve recently started a Postgraduate Certificate in Social Research Skills which will go towards my Masters”.
Roisin’s research will be completed in late 2012 and will be published, along with all the other research papers on the CFNI website.
For further information on the VOICES programme, please click here.