Young carers – the facts

* An estimated 175,000 children are hidden carers for disabled parents getting no support. This is according to the 2001 Census but considered a very low estimate. * Another estimated 300,000 children are caring for parents addicted to drugs or alcohol

* An estimated 175,000 children are "hidden carers" for disabled parents getting no support. This is according to the 2001 Census but considered a very low estimate.

* Another estimated 300,000 children are caring for parents addicted to drugs or alcohol. In Huntingdonshire, there are at least 15 children in this situation, according to West Anglia Crossroads. Other children care for siblings with learning difficulties.

According to a 2004 study by Chris Dearden and Saul Becker at Loughborough University:

* The average age of a carer is 12. One in 10 is caring for more than one adult and nearly a third of them, 29 per cent, are caring for someone with mental health problems. Some 56 per cent are in one-parent families.


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* Half of them care for 10 hours a week, a third for up to 20 hours and some two per cent of them spend more than 50 hours a week caring for their parent.

* Two thirds of the young carers provide domestic help in the home. Nearly half, 48 per cent, provide general and nursing care. Some 82 per cent provide emotional support and supervision, 18 per cent provide intimate personal care and 11 per cent childcare.

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