Key figures on young carers in the Netherlands (aged 16 through 24)

Authors: Alice de Boer and Simone de Roos 

Jonge mantelzorgers
Image: ©Vilans

In the Netherlands, the government promotes informal care to keep health care costs under control. Consequently, about half a million young people aged 16 to 24 care for a loved one with health problems: 25 percent of young people. This is evident from a factsheet published by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP). Although a lot of young people are doing well giving informal care to their loved ones, one in three of them feel moderately to severely burdened. Over one in five young carers feel they lack the knowledge to provide the help that is needed. Understanding and appreciation were most often cited as the form of support that would be most helpful to them.  Thus, providing informal care has consequences for the well-being and need for or use of services of these young people. The SCP states that a public debate on this issue is necessary.