Glasper, Edward Alan
Editorial. Child carers: the forgotten workforce
Journal of Children's and Young People's Nursing, 1, (3), .
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Following the untimely death of a young carer earlier this year (Bennett, 2007) the plight of child carers has been the subject of much debate in the press recently, although concern about these vulnerable children has been expressed by health and social care professionals for many years. Over a decade ago Keith and Morris (1995) were warning that the rights of children who acted as primary carers were being undermined and that some children’s very own childhood was being blighted in caring for dependent siblings or relatives’. The scale of the problem is both hidden and underestimated. Doran et al (2003), in analyzing the data from the 2003 census, confirmed that the previous estimates of young carers which had estimated that there were between 10 000 and 50 000 were taken too lightly and that the real figure was closer to 114 000 with recent press reports putting it as high as 175 000 or more. Worryingly this same census data set showed that 9 000 children were providing at least 50 hours of care per week.
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