This report by Michael Gaffney of the Children’s Issues Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin, in association with Carers New Zealand was commissioned and funded by the Ministry of Health. This research project was initiated to explore an area of concern raised anecdotally about children who take on a significant caring role within their family or household. This is often associated with parents who have a significant disability or illness.
The purpose of the research was not just to identify these children within the context of a research project but also to raise awareness within social services so that such children do not remain invisible. The aims were to develop a recording tool for agencies to use to identify young carers and broaden society’s understanding of young carers. It is also important to note that the recent Carers Strategy Consultation document also included a section on Young Carers.