06/01/2011

Too young to care

Tonight, I watched on ITV 1  the last programme in a series looking at childhood. The journalist Jonny Maitland I quote, hears the remarkable and courageous stories of children as young as 12 who have to juggle school work with the pressures of being a full-time carer. It was heart-breaking to see how much those loving children had to do, looking after their parents and as it was said, without complaining about it. So brave
It's estimated there could be over a million children in the UK who care for a sick or disabled relative.
This 'hidden army' of young carers is faced with huge levels of responsibility which can force them to grow up much quicker than their peers – effectively ending their childhoods early. What was upsetting is that they would not tell the social workers about their difficult situation for fear that they would be taken away from their family. 

It’s thought that at least one in twelve school children has a caring role, yet there's growing concern that these children are not receiving enough support to cope with their situations.
And in an exclusive survey – carried out by the Children’s Society for the Tonight programme – we look at the impact that young carers’ responsibilities have on their lives.

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