Lack of support for young carers, study warns

According to a report published by The Children’s Society, young carers are not being provided with enough early support from schools and local authorities.

The study, entitled There’s Nobody is There…? found that thousands of young carers are not receiving the critical help they require from social services, health professionals and schools.The report suggests that young carers are frequently overlooked, until their struggles reach a crisis point. It also warned that young carers are at a higher risk of developing mental health issues, academic underachievement, bullying and social isolation.

The research interviewed a number of young carers about the support they received and found that 49 per cent felt the help available was inadequate. According to statistics there are currently 166,000 young carers in the UK, however The Children’s Society claims the actual figure is much larger.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children’s Society, said: ‘“This report shows that while some things have got better for young carers, such as improved legislation, there are still barriers to children getting the right support at the right time.

“It is vitally important to remember that any child could be a carer. And the level of care they provide can change due to any number of factors, like a grandparent who helped with caring suddenly passing away. Schools, councils and GPs need to be continually and sensitively asking the right questions to make sure young carers are not slipping through the cracks.”

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