Can I Tell You About Being a Young Carer ISBN: 9781785925269
Published by Jessica Kingsley, 2019
Carly is 12, and she has a younger brother, Sam, who is five. Their mum, who is a single mother, has multiple sclerosis (MS) and uses a wheelchair. She also has spells of depression, and Carly ends up responsible for many duties around the house. She loves her family, but often finds the cleaning, cooking, and getting both herself and Sam ready for school a real challenge, particularly on her mum’s bad days when she must also feed her mum and toilet her. There is a social worker who is trying to get them more help, but this seems a long time coming. Carly’s worry about her mum affects her attention at school, and because the school doesn’t seem to know about her problems, she is taken to task for not always having done her homework. She confesses to anger and guilt at times, because she knows the situation is not her mum’s fault, but that is just the way things are. When she begins going to a young carers project, she meets other kids who share her problems, and this is a great help. Her relief is palpable, but it is clear that she will always want to help her mother in any way she can, and that the family is a loving one. While this story and its good accompanying black and white pictures is aimed at younger people, it will also be excellent for adults who work with young carers and need to understand what they may be dealing with. There are useful resources at the back of the book, both for children and families and for professionals. An excellent and moving story about one young carer and the problems she faces on a daily basis. Available from Amazon, from book shops, and from the publisher: www.jkp.com.