**The tragedy of the Birmingham 16-year-olds relying on just £66 a week to care for family full-time.
Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show there were 67 under-18s receiving Carer’s Allowance across the city as of February this year.**
Dozens of 16- and 17-year-olds in Birmingham are relying on benefits to provide full-time care for disabled family or friends.
Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show there were 67 under-18s receiving Carer’s Allowance across the city as of February this year.
Carer’s Allowance is paid to people aged 16 or over who spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a sick or disabled person, are not in full-time education, and earn less than £123 a week.
It is currently worth a total of £66.15 a week.
The figures show a total of 23,291 people in Birmingham were being paid Carer’s Allowance in February, of whom 67 were aged 16 or 17.
The figures do not include teenagers who care for sick and disabled friends and relatives while studying full-time, or working for more than £123 a week.
Charities calculate there are around 800,000 child carers across the UK.
The DWP figures show 2,607 of those are 16- and 17-year-old who are being paid Carer’s Allowance because of the scale of their caring commitments.
Laura Bennett, head of policy at the Carers Trust, said: “We’re concerned to hear about young carers whose caring responsibilities are taking up so much of their time that they’re not in education, employment or training.
“Young carers want the same things as all other young people: the chance to go to college or university, and to get that first job."
“Local authorities are doing their best, but budgetary pressures mean they simply cannot provide the level of support for young carers and their families that they are required to offer under the law.
“The government must therefore prioritise finding a long-term solution to social care funding so that young carers’ life chances do not continue to be adversely affected.”
Javed Khan, chief executive of Barnardo’s, said: “Thousands of children are spending a working week caring for a family member.
“While many of these young people are proud to help their families, we must make sure this is never at the expense of their own health, their education, or their future.
“Changes to the law mean more young carers are being identified, but others are slipping under the radar, and might not know how to access the professional or financial support, such as Carer’s Allowance, that they need.
“Much more needs to be done by national and local government, in partnership with charities like Barnardo’s to identify and help vulnerable young people who are shouldering huge responsibilities.”
One sector of the Carer Army highlighted in this article … young carers … whereas the problems extend through ALL family / kinship carers
of a working age … that abhorrent 21 HOUR RULE for starters.
It’s too easy to enter our world … CARERLAND … to get out , one needs a sizeable win on the lottery or the death of their caree !
No family / kinship carers ?
" Oh dear , we cannot afford that … let’s employ 8 million + to be our army of slaves ???
Sure , if they are suffering from cancer , we’ll all chip in through our NHS.
Tough luck if it’s dementia ! "
( Essence of the GREEN PAPER SOCIAL CARE thread. )