Research abstracts: young carers

TITLE: Keeping the family in mind: a briefing on young carers whose parents have mental health problems

ABSTRACT: In the UK today, one in six adults are living with a mental health problem, most commonly anxiety or depression. Many of these adults are also parents whose children are living at home; in fact mental health problems are more common in adults who have dependent children, and lone parents are three times more likely than other parents to experience mental distress. The emotional well-being of parents can have a significant impact on children. In some families, parental distress can lead to children taking on responsibilities that would usually belong to adult family members: they become young carers.

TITLE: Seeing the invisible children and young people affected by disability

Disability and Society, 16(6), October 2001, pp.797-814

ABSTRACT: Presents a brief review of literature relating to children in families with a disabled member – including young carers. This article looks at disability studies literature and relevant works from the social psychology and sociology of childhood. Key themes identified in the literature are then illustrated by findings from two exploratory research studies that seek to explore the experiences and service needs of children in families with a disabled member. The authors suggest that although young carers affected by disability in the family face significant problems, particularly in socially disadvantaged areas, there are other issues that need to be addressed. Alternative conceptual frameworks are proposed, which challenge the dominance of the young carers research paradigm.

TITLE: Who cares about us? The unmet needs of young carers

Childright, No.209, September 2004, pp17-18

ABSTRACT: Young carers are children and young people who look after a family member with illness, disability or mental health or substance misuse problems. Often the relative is not getting the support needed from statutory services. Of an estimated 175,000 young carers, 13,000, including 3,500 at primary school, provide more than 50 hours a week. Asks why they are hidden and discusses the failing education and adults’ services. Most adult carers, let alone young carers, are  unaware of their rights. A handful of local authorities have a child-friendly carers assessment tool, but most professionals are unclear who should assess young carers and under what legislation.



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