About the Project
We are interested in examining young people's experiences of family life where they are living with a parent who is approaching the end of life. We are using the National Council of Palliative Care's definition of 'end of life' to mean 'likely to die within the next twelve months'. To date, we know very little about the experiences and needs of young people living in these circumstances.
We do know that each year, over 24,000 children and young people in the UK experience the death of a parent. Some will take on caring responsibilities for their parent during the last year of life, providing practical, emotional and even intimate care. Research has shown that the way families manage these changes in everyday life has far reaching consequences for young people, and for the choices they make about education, employment and relationships.
If we can understand more about family life for young people when a parent is in the last year of life, and especially young people's caring roles, we should be able to develop better ways of identifying young people who may need extra support up to and beyond the point when their parent is no longer with them.