The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, the Children’s Society and other charities have formed a National Young Carers Coalition to campaign on behalf of children who care for family members.
It is designed to force the issues affecting young carers and their families higher up the political agenda and raise awareness among professionals and the public of their needs.
The coalition also includes a number of other charities working with young carers and disabled parents such as Crossroads Caring for Carers, the Disabled Parents Network, Family Welfare Association, NCH and Barnardo’s.
The coalition said it would emphasise the need for “whole family” approaches to care and support, adding that a lack of co-ordination between children’s and adults’ services was an ongoing difficulty for young carers and their families.
School leaving age
It will also lobby ministers over the Education and Skills Bill, which would leave 16- to 18-year-olds who do not participate in education or training liable to prosecution.
Though the government has insisted that those who have a “reasonable excuse” – such as caring for an ill parent – should be exempt from prosecution, the coalition said “effective safeguards” were needed.