The number of young carers could be four times higher than official
figures suggest, a charity has claimed.
More than a million people aged up to 19 care for someone with a
disability, illness or health problem in England, Wales and
Scotland, according to research commissioned by the Princess Royal
Trust for Carers.
The 2001 population census found that around 225,000 people aged up
to 19 in the UK carried out a caring role.
But the trust said the census was filled in by parents of young
people who might not admit that their child was looking after them
or caring for a brother or sister and under-represented the number
of young carers.
Alex Fox, young carers development co-ordinator at the trust, said:
“We believe only a tiny percentage of young carers are getting the
help they need. More research needs to be done, but these figures
should be a wake-up call for councils that ignore the needs of
young people looking after someone.”
The survey covered more than 1,300 seven to 19 year olds.
– Study from www.youngcarers.net