Our experience is that Young Carers are very proud of their caring role, but it can put particular pressure on these children.
Being a Young Carer can impact the child’s education. It can lead to real difficulties participating fully in school life. It may mean turning up late for school or not being able to attend at all, depending on the health of their family member. For example, it’s hard to properly complete homework when juggling this with caring for a disabled parent. Parents may not be able to give their input at school in the same way as other parents or support the child in attending school trips or extra-curricular activities.
Through a Young Carers’ Forum in Somerset, the children have reported how their caring roles impact on their health and well being. They have suffered increased tiredness, low self esteem, feeling depressed and stressed.
It can have a social impact too, as Young Carers don’t have free time in the same way as other children, missing out on spending time with other children outside school. Many Young Carers are described as seeming “old before their time” without the chance to have fun and simply be a child.