‘”It has been fun. Super-duper fantastic”: Findings from a Danish respite programme to support young carers’

Author(s): Gitte Wind and Gitte K. Jorgensen
Publisher: Health and Social Care in the Community
Year Published: 2020
Resource type: Peer Reviewed Research Article


Although there is an increasing knowledge of young carers, awareness of them in Denmark is still very low. This article evaluated one respite program, called the Buddy program. This program coupled children aged 5-15 years who experience serious mental health problems or a death of a parent or sibling with a Buddy, who is there to spend time with them. The authors developed a study to explore what this Buddy program do for young carers. Hence, this study is the first evaluative, qualitative study of the impact of this program. The researchers invited parents, children, and Buddies for an interview. A total of 18 families agreed to participate. There were 11 young carer girls and 11 young carer boys ranging in age from 5-11 years. Results revealed three main themes: the activities they do together, the impact on children, and the end of the program and desire to remain friends. Evaluations showed that the Buddy program was very fun for children. They engaged in many activities together and discussed many topics with their Buddies. It gave them space to have fun in and to escape to. It made children feel special. They felt seen and acknowledged. After the Buddy program ended, children wanted to continue their friendship. Parents liked the length of the program. Overall, results indicated that more of these recipe programs are needed in Denmark.

Citation: Wind G, & Jorgensen G. K. (2020). “It has been fun. Super-duper fantastic”: Findings from a Danish respite programme to support young carers. Health and Social Care in the Community, 28, 100–109. https://doi.org/10.1111/ hsc.12844

Keywords: Child-centred approach, Denmark, playful play, respite programme, young carers

Where the data was collected: Denmark