The Impact of Parental Mental Illness on Children Aged 5 – 12 Years

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The Impact of Parental Mental Illness on Children Aged 5 – 12 Years Word count 4116 Abstract This essay sets out to learn what effects parental mental illness has on a child’s life. It will focus on what young carers say about their caring responsibilities. Legislation and government policies maintain children should be protected from inappropriate caring and each child should be supported to meet the five outcomes of the Every Child Matters (DfES, 2004) agenda. There is a need for inter professional working and a shared protocol to support young carers and their families. Different areas of a young carers life have been considered including their family (and parenting capacity), health, education and safeguarding concerns. Attachments between the parent and child can suffer when there is mental illness and separation away from their parents, due to hospital admissions, is a worrying time, however as separation is natural in child development this can create resilience in the child. I chose this subject as I have experience from my practice and I can link the theory and research to my direct work. I found that adults with mental illness are one of the most excluded groups in society and there are close links between poverty, mental ill health, discrimination and social exclusion. Parental mental illness can have a negative effect on the parent / child relationship and child development, especially where there is little external support. Children with parents who had mental illness had a higher likelihood of child neglect and this was a considerable risk factor in their safety and welfare. There are difficulties when multiple agencies are involved with a family and problems with communication and information sharing is a challenge. Contents Introduction page 3 Study design page 4 Critical discussion page 5 Conclusion page 12

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