Each week the Social Care Institute for Excellence puts forward research findings in a specific field
Many children and young people are involved in caring for members of their family. In the 2001 census 175,000 children and young people in the UK were identified as carers – often for a parent with physical or learning disabilities, mental health problems, chronic illnesses or problems of addiction. This is probably an underestimate, as many young carers are reluctant to disclose their situation to professionals, especially if the parent has a mental health problem. A “young carer” is never an inevitable role, and it can be argued that young carers are created because services do not always offer the support parents need.