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Going to university - Carers UK Forum

Going to university

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
I would like some advice that I can give to a young carer. I am a youth worker working with a young carer who is going to university in september. This young person cares for his father with little support from mum & sister who are going through emotional and pyschological difficulties at the moment. It is difficult for this young person the thought of moving away to another town quite far away and leaving the responsibilites to his family memebers. It is a worry that Dad may be taken into care due to lack of care at home. Mum and daughter do not get along very well. Has anyone had a a similar experience or can give advice that I can pass on to this person.

Thank you.
Surely someone in authority should sit down with the entire family and decide just what they are going to do when the lad goes to university. It needs urgently talking about, decisions to be made and responsibilities faced up to (mum and sister). They should have a meeting in their home, not some office somewhere, where they might not all turn up, but at home with them all there (and you perhaps, as you are involved with the lad and clearly showing concern for them all). The SS ought to be called and informed about the future plans, so should GP(s) and whoever else is involved with the family. This situation should not jeopardise the young man's future life and he ought to be encouraged and supported by everyone. Sorry, but there are others here who need to face up to the responsibility, whether they get on with each other is neither here nor there, or if there are problems as you say, where are the supporting authorities in all this??????
Thank you Fran, you've put that so much more diplomatically than I could. Image

IMHO there should be no such thing as young carers. Being a carer is a difficult and dangerous enough load for adult shoulders and far too big for minors to safely manage without a lot more support than most of them seem to get.

If I could get the young man in question to listen to me, this is what I'd want to say.
"Your family are a mess, it's not your fault, and no matter how much you love them, you can't rescue them. Save yourself. Go to university - the job market for the next few years is going to be grim for school leavers. I'll get social services to reassess what's going on with your parents and your sister as a whole. It's their problem to sort out, and their responbsilbility, not yours."
Catja just hit the nail on the head.

If this chap is clever enough for university and a career he must go for it, having ensured social services are aware of the problems at home. At the end of the day if he doesn`t take the chance to better himself he will have a lifetime of regret when all he has done is give up his young life to be an unpaid carer with no chance of a career once his caring role is over. It doesn`t mean he is deserting his family or loves them less. Sometimes one has to appear to be cruel to be kind.

Take care

I have three children, now adult. All have had to be young Carers, even though one has Downs Syndrome and insulin dependent diabetes, and another has been insulin dependent diabetic since a baby, as well has having severe depression for several years now.My husband also has several disabilities.

I am the main Carer, and can look with hindsight and see many problems that we could have been supported with over the years.(By the way, i have asked for help and Social Services were not interested, until I met someone from the PRCT, who supported my family to get information.)

My youngest is going into the Royal navy within the next few months. She has been such a support to me especially in the last three or four years, and the Navy was not her first choice of career,just something she looked into when she wanted to do something else in life. My caring role will increase greatly when she leaves,but I am so relieved that she will have a life away from the responsibility. It is her right to have a life, we did not have our children to be Carers.I just wanted to be a mother, and give my children a wonderful start in life.

My son with depression seems to be motivated now too,but has needed such a lot of help and support, and I have had to beg for help for him. He was destined for university and a career in accountancy, but the depression came during his AS level year, and he is now almost 22. I would just be pleased to see him in any sort of a job now, and to have some happiness in his life.

Social Services must come in and help this man. You may have to act as an advocate for him, because he won't want to let his family down, and he may well feel he is doing so.His family may even make him feel that way,but he is entitled to have a life for himself. Who knows, he could go on and do something wonderful in his future career, and invent something, or find something out, that would benefit thousands of humand beings, and it may be that he s the only person in the world with the potential. Monica,good luck, with this young man.
Your replies have been very helpful and I will use them to help my young carer suceed in his studies and have a happy fulfilled life. Thank you all