Young carer’s going to bed hungry is far from the Republic of Opportunity promised by this Government

Senator Annie Hoey image
02 December 2020

Labour Senator Annie Hoey is calling on the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to establish a dedicated team to support the estimated 67,000 young carers in Ireland today. Senator Hoey today responded to a report published by Family Carers Ireland.

Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Hoey said:

“The Minister needs to take this report on youth carers seriously and begin making better provision for the emotional, physical, and material needs of children caring for family in this country.

“Young carers face issues around emotional health and wellbeing, and lower life satisfaction than their peers. One-third of young carers reported being bullied in school. I think the most tragic finding of this research was that one in four young carers are going to school or bed hungry because there was not enough food at home.

“No child should go to bed hungry in a wealthy country like Ireland. No hungry child, arguably no child at all, should have to take on a caring role before they are even adults themselves. We already know that in Ireland we do not dedicate enough resources to carers in the form of home help hours and respite provision, and this report highlights how lacking our care supports really are.

“I was struck while reading the report from Young Carers Ireland and NUIG by their estimates for the sheer number of people under the age of 18 who are providing regular care to an adult in their family. The report estimates there are up to 67,000 children in caring roles right now. That represents 13.3% of young people in Ireland. These brilliant, kind, young people have taken on a role far beyond their years, and they need proper support from the state.

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