There should be an 'end to the scandal where children are expected to be the main carer for a dependent parent or sibling', said Paul Wainwright of the RCN ethics forum, which proposed the resolution. 'As a profession we are complicit in this abuse,' he said.
The forum cited 2004 figures, which estimated that just over a million children were caring for relatives unable to look after themselves, and described young carers as a 'comparatively unseen group within society' whose needs 'demanded discussion'.
The motion was passed by a majority of 94%, with 357 people voting in favour versus 21 against.
Sheila Maye, RCN member for Doncaster, added that it should go further and that the council should lobby ministers to make it illegal for children to be a carer.