Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Young Carers' Rap

Tricky P, rapping on being a young carer for his grandparents.  A terrific young artist giving voice to the experience of roughly 108,000 in Canada alone who are under 18 and provide care to a family member on a regular basis.

The Young Carers' Initiative is an organization here in Canada supporting kids looking after their parents or grandparents.  In the UK, Young Carers has this role.  In the United States, The American Association of Caregiving Youth does terrific work to support young people who take care of a relative needing help to get through the day.

Whether or not young people should be asked to care for their relatives who are infirm because of age or disability is an ethical and economic question.  I believe the answer to the ethical question of whether  our young people should have caring responsibilities is a relative one.  Relentless cutbacks to social care budgets leave some family members giving care in positions of powerlessness and isolation.  The downloading of ever more complex nursing duties to family means that some caregivers, including those under 18, are coerced into giving levels of care that make pursuing other interests (such as school) impossible.  Giving some care on a regular basis can be a powerful ingredient in developing responsible maturity, but like any good thing, too much can be toxic and life-limiting.

Bravo to these organizations supporting young carers and helping them achieve balance in their lives.
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