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Young Carer Figures ‘Raise Support Concerns’

BBC Publishes New Research


A new study which suggests the number of young carers in the UK is much higher than originally thought raises concerns over the support available to them, a care expert at Irwin Mitchell has suggested.

Research published by the BBC revealed that there are approximately 700,000 children with caring responsibilities in the UK, which is significantly higher than the 2001 census figure of 175,000.

More than 4,000 children were polled as part of the University of Nottingham study, with eight per cent stating they carry out care activities like helping someone in their home dress or wash.

Commenting on the research, health and social care advisor Sarah Head said: “When you help care for someone, it is very easy to be so busy with these activities that no-one else is aware of what you are doing. It is not surprising so many of these young carers have fallen under the radar in recent years.

“I hope authorities ensure cases which may have not be known are quickly assessed to ensure both the carers and those they are looking after are receiving the right level of support.

“I also welcome the news that the government is to launch a strategy for carers towards the end of this year, which hopefully will shed further light on this growing issue and prevent another generation of young carers from losing their childhood.”