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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal International Journal of Health Professions
Volume (Issue) 6(1)
Page(s) 19 - 31
Title of proceedings International Journal of Health Professions
DOI 10.2478/ijhp-2019-0004

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


AbstractIntroductionChildren and adolescents with caring responsibility who are looking after a family member or a person close are often hiding from the view of the public. They are not well recognised from professionals from health care, education and social services. Several research as well as support programmes have been initiated within the last years. It became obvious that the term ‘young carers’ was translated in various ways into German and connected with different attributes. An integral understanding is yet of high relevance for the international dialogue as well as for the transfer from theory to practice.AimThe aim of this article is to analyse and conceptualize the use of different terminologies for ‘young carers’ by professionals when providing support for these young people. A definition for the target population was developed for German speaking countries that will provide the groundwork for the scientific and public discourse.MethodsA concept analysis by Walker und Avant (2014) was conducted.ResultsThe analysis illustrated the various use of terms as well as defining key characteristics – the presence of an ill person that needs support, the age of these young people, the tasks they perform as well as the involved high responsibility.DiscussionNot all children of family members or persons close who have an illness or impairment perform a support role. Only part of these young people take on caring tasks and provide support on a significant level.ConclusionThe analysis showed the need for a clarification of the terms used in German speaking countries for ‘young carers’. A commonly applied definition enables an identification of the target group by professionals and the persons concerned. Additionally, it facilitates the alignment to the proceeding international discourse.