All work and no play? Understanding the needs of children with caring responsibilities

2013-10-03T13:20:55Z (GMT) by Jo Aldridge
This article draws on research with children who provide care for parents with serious mental health problems and signals ongoing research that uses photographic participation methods with these groups of vulnerable children. The intention of this article is to highlight the need to move away from popular and simplistic representations of children with caring responsibilities (young carers) as victims of their parents’ illnesses, as ‘little angels’ whose caring work is condoned through rewards or as (exploited) informal domestic workers whose childhoods are inevitably compromised by the caring activity they undertake. Recommendations are made for generating deeper understanding about the lives and needs of children who are affected by parental impairment that is congruent with the thrust of current UK policy, Every Child Matters and the 2004 Children Act.