Helping Young Carers or profiting from disablism?


I had noticed an increase of the awareness of so-callesd young carers and how government and voluntary organisations appeared  to accept that it was okay for young people to be performing personal care tasks. And so I wrote an article for Community Care raising my concerns for this.

Then a few weeks ago I started to looking at a few websites of organisations who supposely supported ‘young carers’ and I was disturbed at what I find. Most organisations had defined a young carer as anyone aged between 6 and 18 who lived with a disabled person regardless if whether or not they in fact performed any roles that a carer would do!

Two things stuck me with this. Firstly, it is clear that do you the well oiled media machine of the ‘carers movements’, the problem with young carers had been hyped, forcing local authories to hand over lots of money to so called ‘carers organisation’ to solve this embarrassing issue. When organisations received this money, they clearly could not find many real young carers and so widen the net.

To add further insult the money is not used to ease the social care crisis at home but to give the young people a whole calander of jollies in terms of holidays and social events to compenstate them for having to live with disabled people.

And this is the second and more serious issue. Disabled people are no longer to have families and be treated as a normal part of any family as anyone who lives with them as carers who need society’s compassion are being forced to live with disabled people.

If boys were being supported for having to live with girls or white children having to live with black children, it would be a national disgrace.

Once again, charities profit from breeding disablism at the heart of families, offering disabled people no way safe from the stigma they activitely encourage. 

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