Supporting children affected by cancer in the family

The term ’young carer’ refers to children and young people from the age of 5 to 18 who care for a parent or relative at home who is ill. The level of care they give would usually be carried out by an adult, and therefore it has a significant impact on their childhood.

To understand what impact parental cancer has on a child, there are three areas to consider:

  1. The level of understanding the child has about cancer and the beliefs they hold about the disease.
  2. To what extent the child’s home-life has changed because of the parent’s illness.
  3. How the cancer and the cancer treatment has affected the parent’s ability to care for the child.