Caring: A Family Affair
Caring: A Family Affair

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Caring: A Family Affair

1.5.1 Interdependence

Although Katrina's mother depends on Katrina for some of her own needs and the needs of the younger children, she also cares for Katrina in that she is legally and financially responsible for her. She is also able to give love, advice and support. So it is a two-way relationship. Nevertheless, young carers challenge prevailing ideas about what children or young people do in families. There is apparently a ‘role reversal’ – as Katrina put it so neatly, her mum expected her to be an adult in the privacy of their own home, but a child in public. You might recognise parallels with Lynne Durrant here. Part of Lynne's frustration was that Arthur treated her as a child, while accepting and expecting an adult's contribution to his care and to the household finances.

As you saw in the case of the Durrants, both parties gave care as well as received it. In families with young carers, this is also likely to be the case.

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