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Listening to children: Meeting the needs of young carers

This chapter examines the impact of caring on the lives of young people (i.e. those under 18). The authors point to the difficulties in enumerating such carers. They estimate numbers in excess of 50,000. Although the issue of young caring is not new, research into the phenomenon is. The authors refer to the initial studies of the late 1980s and early 1990s. They focus on the work of the Young Carers Research Group (YCRG), established in 1992. The Group has an on-going work programme which aims to give young carers a voice, raise awareness and influence policy. The YCRG methodology centres on interviews with young carers. The authors highlight the advantages of this approach but also acknowledge its critics. They conclude that the 'child's voice' approach has been successful. Awareness is much increased and many YCRG recommendations have been translated into policy and practice. Cites numerous references.

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