The 2001 census suggested there were 175,000 young carers in the UK. Research now suggests this number is closer to 700,000. Many of these young carers provide more than 50 hours a week of care, whilst trying to continue their life as normally as possible.
So what is a young carer?
Young carers are children who help look after a member of the family, who may be sick, disabled, misusing drugs or alcohol or have mental health problems. Their day to day responsibilities often include:
- providing nursing and personal care
- giving emotional support
These young children have many adult responsibilities and therefore will often miss out on opportunities that other children have to play and learn. Some may struggle educationally and can be seen as being ‘different’. They can become isolated, with no relief from the pressures at home, and no chance to enjoy a normal childhood. They may be afraid to ask for help as they fear letting the family down or being taken into care.
If your child is a young carer, let us know. Either speak to a teacher or drop in and see Mrs Sallyann Furniss (School Learning and Family Mentor).
The links below offer further support and guidance.