YOUNG carers, looking after a family member or friend who are ill, disabled or misuse drugs or alcohol, are missing school and being bullied because of their role.
The news comes after Young Carers Awareness Day was held last Friday to highlight the good work children and young people are doing for someone close to them.
As well as one in 20 having to miss important school time and more than a quarter being forced to fend off bullies, the number of young carers is now up to one in five and going up every year.
There are also fears there may be children and young people out there who are so busy caring they do not realise the help available to them.
Jonathan Cawdron, Worcestershire Young Carers’ team manager, said: “Every year, we see more and more children and young people being identified and registered as young carers – some as young as seven.
“It’s so important that they receive the help and support they are entitled to and raising awareness in schools is a big part of our role.”
Over the last year Worcestershire Young Carers has supported around 600 across the county and 52 per cent of young carers and young adult carers were from single family households.
Worcestershire Young Carers, which has been delivered by the YSS since 2003, was commissioned by the county council to provide assessment, signposting, one-to-one support and youth clubs for young people with a caring role at home.
The service also provides support to those aged between 18 and 25 who are recognised as young adult carers.
Bailey, 11, who is supported by Worcestershire Young Carers and helps look after his younger sister, said: “Being a young carer can be a good thing but it’s frustrating when people don’t really understand what you do and think that you can just do all the things that other kids can do, when you can’t.
“I would like teachers to be more understanding sometimes, like when I’m tired in school and it’s because I’ve been helping.
“I like looking after my little sister but I think people should know more about what I do.”
Visit yss.org.uk/worcestershire-young-carers for more on Worcestershire Young Carers and the help available.