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Too young to care - ITV thursday - Carers UK Forum

Too young to care - ITV thursday

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Most girls her age would have been gossiping between lessons about clothes, make-up and their latest teenage crushes.

Yet for Stacey Cuddy, from the age of ten, school and friends became an afterthought, fitted in with the demands of washing, dressing and feeding her alcoholic mother, Mary.
read in full here
Must admit have not read the report .. but i am against child carers , dont mind anyone "helping out" round the house, but the local authority shouild step in and take control of this family , i hate to see children in care or fostered out , but why should a child have to care for her her mother , i dont care what illness she has & alcoholism is an illness, the l.a. should be the care providers ... this girl will or may end up with little or no education and could end up like her mother .....
Ive,for years,have,and wont stop,banging-on,to deaf ears,sadly,about these issues.

Trouble is VOICE.


POINT ONE:

Children who are carers have no voice.How can they?.

A>We havent any accurate statistics to even know how many children are carers in the UK now,Today.

B>Politicians dont give a dam about carers over who have the vote,so they care even less about children who are carers.No votes in that one.


C>Carers groups,Carers UK,local carers groups are made up of animated,empowered card-carrying carers like me.Many go to AGMs,Summits etc.Many very vocal about carers issues.All Good.

Good for carers over 18,that is.Our demographic group who,by-and-large make-up carers UK membership.


Im against:BLOODSPORTS,WAR IN AFGHANISTAN,RACISM,ABORTION,EUTHANASIA,CHILDREN BEING CARERS.

But,Guess What.IT HAPPENS!.And,untill we get our collective fingers out and do somthing to raise hell over it,we wont even touch this issue.
[quote]C>Carers groups,Carers UK,local carers groups are made up of animated,empowered card-carrying carers like me.Many go to AGMs,Summits etc.Many very vocal about carers issues.All Good.

Good for carers over 18,that is.Our demographic group who,by-and-large make-up carers UK membership.

Im against]

Hi Maxi

Carers UK was the very first charity to do work to raise the issue of child carers. We commisssioned the very first research on this area back in the 80s and 90s and carried out lots of ground breaking work to support and identify children with inappropriate caring roles.

But it is true that we don't have children in our membership. Our position is that this is not the same as adults who are caring but an issue about children and supporting disabled parents. In recent years we have supported those children's charities that take a lead on it - Barnados do a lot of work with child carers as do Action for Children.

I think it is also important to make a distinction between child carers and children in families with disability - where they may have a disabled parent or a brother or sister with a disability - those kids are often lumped in as "young carers", when in fact yes they may have a extra chores or responsibilities but they are not the primary carer. Those kids may need support in their own right, and understanding from school etc but it is not the same as a child who has a primary caring responsibility. As you point out there is also a lack of reliable evidence on the numbers involved which also muddies the issue.

Matt
I'm not going to pretend that I've read the article because I haven't, I just wanted to have my tuppence worth since this is a topic close to my heart having been around disability since the age of 9.

I'm sure we are all anti - child carer but I'm going to try to go through this from the child's point of view.

If the child was born into or entered their caree's life at a young enough age, it's quite possible that the child won't see their caring role as a caring role - Even us adult carers struggle between distinguishing what is caring and what is being a loving mum/dad/son/daughter/niece/nephew/husband/wife etc.

Mum's disability was a result of medical conditions that deterriorated gradually so I didn't really notice that I was doing more and more for her throughout my teenage years - it was only after I moved out, I'd spot her struggling and think "Hang on, when did mum become unable to open a jar or milk bottle". It came as a terrible shock to realise I couldn't even remember when it had happened.

Right through my school life, I'd have never mentioned it to the teachers or anyone who could be deemed as an authority because I was scared I'd end up in care and mum would be in a home which was something I knew neither of us wanted. With hindsight, I now know that this would probably not have happened because she wasn't really that bad at the time (not compared to now anyway). This could be an area where schools could educate our children in lessons just so that any young carers present know what to expect. It could actually make the children more willing to step forward and get the help they need wjich would make them easier to count and keep track of
With respect to CUK for what work they have done on this,Its a sickening scandal,frankly!.

Maybe,as our membership is made-up of adult carers,who,while they may have young carees,dont see young carers very-much,as they are a very hidden group,its the likes of,say,The NSPCC/Childline who we might work with and even try to,with them,get some sort of accurate figures asto the number of young carers.

I despair of the in-action.I get dam angry when,after some media expose of the plight of young carers,the bleating starts,the chant of words like:"Somthing must be done!"rings-out,then,quickly dies-off,and next day,onto another issue.


Downright stinks,frankly.Its hard enough for we adult carers,as we know too well.BUT,it must be utter hell for a child to be carer to an adult!.

In my view its a blight,a stigma on our nation,on we,as carers,who,of all people,should be the ones to scream blue-murder,often,loudly,frequently,about this outrage,.and to every carers group,carers support charity,as we all fail when this terrible blight,lost childhhood,is ongoing.

On occasion a topic really gets to me.Over the years,this one has really enraged me.


Nothing will change.Nothing touches this issue.If we cared we would be demandin action.Just look at the responces here to the issue.

If it was an issue about US,OUR incomes,stress-levels,our issues,we would be on page three by now,wordy contributions.

As theres no young voices allowed here,no young carers here to tell us how it really is for them, child carers,and it depends upon us,we offer a few pityfull responces,with great respect to you who have responded here.So,I think that shows how high we rate this topic.
With the greatest respect, Maxi, even charities like childline and the nspcc are still very limited to what they can do. Unless they suspect that the child is in grave danger of abuse or neglect, they cannot do anything to intervene without the child's permission, which the child might not allow them to do.

To have them here at CUK could actually complicate things and further isolate them from carers of their own age for the simple reason being that the law and rights relating to them is entirely different to our law and rights so we as adults could guide them in entirely the wrong direction.
Theres many good reasons for in-action."Cant" is a word used to its limits.What CAN we do,I Wonder?.
I saw this prog last night,and the thing that amazed me was the middle class woman who kept quoting on what a great job these young carers do.I thought- yes! but that's not something to be proud of! they shouldn't have that huge responsibility on them.They all looked old beyond their years.It seems fear of being taken away from their parent was the main driver for them doing it and staying quiet.
They were shown in youth clubs having one night off.I felt there should be so much more support for them-what do their futures hold? will they get jobs after school or become a full time carer?
A lot of my mothers friends did that and they had no life.They were middle aged when their parents died and they were left unmarried with no work skills to fall back on.

So much more around dispelling the myths of being taken away should be done,then perhaps care workers could fill the gaps.
When my mums mum died,my mum was 21.She said many times-thank God, or I'd have had to look after her.Now my mum is 90 and though in a home my sister has virtually given her life over for the last 20 years to caring for her as the home do very little yet cost a mint.
I certainly wouldn't think it can be easy being the parent of these young people either,living with the guilt must be awful.I hope the govt does something -fast.
B.
[I saw this prog last night,and the thing that amazed me was the middle class woman who kept quoting on what a great job these young carers do.I thought- yes! but that's not something to be proud of! they shouldn't have that huge responsibility on them.They all looked old beyond their years.It seems fear of being taken away from their parent was the main driver for them doing it and staying quiet.]quote, barrowgirl.
I felt the same as you when I saw it.One of the children was called an "angel" by the host of the show. I feel sad. Children are not meant to be angels, they are meant to be inquisitive, mischievous,loveable and ....just children.
Rosemary, you have made me think more, with this thread. Thank you for starting it.