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Last Updated: Friday December 02 2005 14:33 GMT

More help needed for young carers

Sarah Jayne caring for her mother
Children who care for ill or disabled family members need more support according to children's charities.

175,000 young people currently care for relatives in the UK with some spending up to 20 hours-per-week working.

The Children's Society says the government needs to find extra help for sick adults to take some of the burden off their young carers.

16-year-old Sarah Jayne from Sherness looks after her parents and says she misses spending time with her friends.

Children who care for family members that can't look after themselves have responsibilities such as cooking and cleaning for them.

This means many of them don't have much time for hobbies or spending time with friends.

In fact some people think that many children thought to be playing truant from school could be carers who feel they can't abandon their duties at home.

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