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RCN CONGRESS LATEST: Call for action on child carer 'scandal'

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RCN members have passed a motion calling on the college's council to lobby government over the issue of child carers.

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.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I was pleased to read that the RCN is proposing to lobby the Government about Child Carers. This is something we have been doing at The Children's Society Include project, taking young carers to meet with their MP's in Parliament to raise the issues concerning them and their families.
    You can contact us at if you want to know more about our campaigning.

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