A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for someone who cannot cope without their support due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction. Tarek, seven looks after his arthritic mum, Caroline.
The 2011 census identified 10,000 carers aged 5-7, up 83% on the previous decade. The true figure is likely to be more than 40,000 as studies have shown only one in four is ever officially identified.
New laws brought in last year under the Children and Families Act and Care Act placed responsibility on authorities to actively identify Young Carers and support them. However, while care budgets have been cut, campaigners claim the situation is getting worse, not better.
Of the estimated 700,000 carers aged 5-17 in the UK, 10 per cent do 20-49 hours a week at home and 8.8 per cent more than 50 hours.
Home help has been withdrawn from 500,000 adults to help save £1bn in social care spending in the last decade, pushing more children into caring roles.
A survey in Salford, Greater Manchester, found 75 per cent of young carers experienced depression or stress in the previous year.
Three in 10 care for an adult with mental health or substance misuse issues.
This article and photo were posted in the New Day paper Spring 2016. The number of Young Carers being identified is increasing daily on a national scale.
Help us to help the Young Carers in our area. Thank you.