Any child or young person under the age of 18 from any ethnic or social background whose life is affected by caring for a member of their family who may have a physical or mental illness, a long term health condition or a terminal illness, or, have problems with alcohol or drug misuse. Young Carers can live in single parent families and be the main carer. Some will help the main parent to care, some help parents to care for another child and some have more than one person in the family who needs care.
Social Services and Berkshire Carers Service recognise these children and have put in an infrastructure, to firstly identify who they are, and secondly to ensure they get all the bare essential help they need. However, what is not funded, or provided are the simple, enjoyable experiences that the vast majority of children take for granted, enabling them to behave like children, and be treated like children rather than the routine adult world they invariably live in.
“I look after my Mum and help her cope, but sometimes, I feel lonely, different, sad, embarrassed and resentful”
“I never knew there were so many other young carers, just like me”