My roles and responsibilities

This section asks you to think about the various roles you have in your life and what these involve. To help you do this, carers Jade, Janet and Dean have shared their experiences with you. Read and listen to them and see how they have summarised their roles and responsibilities.


Jade, who’s 19, cares for her dad and is learning to be a youth worker. She left school and started training in childcare. She left her college course after the first year but knew she needed to do something else, so she decided to volunteer. Having gained experience of youth work through volunteering she was then accepted onto a training course and later offered a paid job. She is part of a supportive group of young adult carers who learn, have fun together and share and support each other in their caring roles.

Listen to Jade talking about her caring role.

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The following table sets out Jade’s roles and responsibilities.

Table 1.1 Jade’s roles and responsibilities
My main roles in lifeWhat I do
Daughter, carerCare for my dad, take care of household tasks.
Young adult carer championWork with the Carers Centre to support other young adult carers, including developing a website for young adult carers.
Employee, colleagueWork as a youth worker supporting young people; communicate with my colleagues and manager.
StudentStarting a Professional Development Award in Youthwork.
Friend Support and encourage my young adult carer friends, as well as keeping up with other friends.


Figure 1.2 Janet (Library image)

Janet, 42, had not studied since her son was born. While caring for her son over the past 19 years she’s learned a lot through volunteering at his school and also at SenseScotland. Now that her son is becoming an adult she has a little more time to herself and is in a position to consider what paid work she’d like to take on in the future. She’s clear that she’d like to work in services for people with disabilities and would like to do further study to get there. Knowing that distance learning is the only practical way forward for her, Janet is studying Health and Social Care with The Open University and fitting that in around her caring and volunteering responsibilities, which can be a tricky juggling act at times.

Janet says:

Thinking back to the person that I used to be, that has all gone, everything. I've taken on a different role.. Well, so many different roles. I’ve got all these other roles that you’re going right, OK what did I use to do before I did everything else? … It has, it’s changed me as a person. And I’d probably say for a better person.

Table 1.2 Janet’s roles and responsibilities
My main roles in life What I do
VolunteerI help out weekly with SenseScotland
Carer and parentCare for my 19 year old son with complex learning difficulties
StudentStarted studying health and social care


Dean, who’s 28, cares for his mum, brother and grandad. He has decided that he’d like to find ways to develop his career. He knows that the better employment he finds, the better placed he is to support his family and fulfil his caring responsibilities. Combining his paid work and his caring role has been challenging and he has felt unsupported by his employer and trade union, despite being a workplace union representative. In order to progress his career, Dean has decided to reduce his work to four shifts a week so he can combine his employment with his Open University studying and his caring roles. He faces continuing challenges with his own health, but is clear and focused on his long-term aim to work in IT.

Listen to Dean talking about his caring role.

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As well as his multiple caring roles Dean has other responsibilities as a trade union representative:

I was back and forward to the hospital and work basically said we cannae help you any more, you could end up losing your job if you take any more days off. I got in touch with my union, because I’m a union representative. They basically said we’ve got no agreements when it comes to carers.