Young Carers

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The aim of this research is to critically explore the effectiveness of service provisions available for young carers of parental mental illness (PMI). The Mental Health Act (2007) s1. defines a mental disorder as “any disorder or disability of the mind”. The research will allow both young carers and social work practitioners to express their critical view of the interventions and support currently available. The young carers engaged in this research will be aged between 15 and 18. Also, it will include social workers who work in both child and mental health departments of social services. This area is important as little research includes the opinions of both young carers and social work practitioners together. The principle aim is that this…show more content…
They are a group that is regarded as ‘hidden’ or ‘unheard’. Young carers are usually defined as children under the age of 18 who carry out significant and regular tasks in order to assist and support other family members or friends. The role and responsibilities which they undertake are normally ones which would be concomitant with an adult. Young carers’ often provide care to a parent or sibling who is disabled, has some chronic illness or suffers from a mental health problem. (Becker, 2000: 378) Young carers’ have become a vast population and one which continues to grow. In the 2011 consensus, the Office of National Statistics (ONS), reported within England and Wales 177,918 young unpaid carers aged between 5 and 17 were identified. However, a survey conducted by the BBC in 2010 showed estimates of up to 700,000 young carers in the UK. (BBC, 2010). This conflicting research maybe a symbolism of the many hidden carers that do not receive support from government led organisation. However, the manner in which the research for the consensus was conducted has been criticised by many organisations and charities, one key issue was that researchers asked parents instead of the young carers themselves and did not include conditions, such as mental health, substance misuse or HIV/AIDS. This gives this consensus little validity as research indicates that 1 in 4 adults suffer from a mental health illness. In…show more content…
Dearden & Becker (2004) identified that the responsibilities exhibited by young carers depends upon the nature of the illness, which can include physical, mental, learning or sensory disabilities. Many researchers identify general caring responsibilities to include emotional support, domestic care, both looking after the adult and other siblings (Michail and Smyth:2010) However, as Becker and Aldridge (2003) highlighted the importance of establishing whether those caring for parental mental illnesses have distinct and particular needs. Similarly, Cox and Pakenham (2014) conducted research into measurement and structure of a measure called the Young Carer of Parents Inventory (YCOPI). The results suggest that there is a considerable difference in caregiving experiences within the range of young carers who were accessed by the YCOPI-A. The research proposed will hone in on the types of specific interventions available for young carers of parental mental

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