An inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Young and Young Adult Carers has revealed the devastating impact caring has on the life opportunities of the UK’s young people.
The first ever parliamentary inquiry into young and young adult carers has revealed a lack of support is having a devastating impact on their education, wellbeing and future prospects.
An inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Young Carers and Young Adult Carers, supported by national charity Carers Trust, published its findings recently. It uncovered alarming evidence showing 15,000 children, including 3,000 aged just five to nine, spend 50 hours or more a week looking after family members because of illness, disability or addiction.
There are an estimated one million young carers in the UK and the time they spend caring can lead to them falling behind at school and damage their life opportunities. Yet, despite mounting evidence showing the impact of their caring role, little has been done to improve support over the years.
Many are not being identified by local authorities or schools and this is leading to a postcode lottery of support. The inquiry heard some are being left to cope alone for 10 years before being identified, while evidence to the inquiry showed the average waiting time to get support is three years.