Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Got a job

My parents split up a while back, but havent sorted out the money yet. I live with my disabled mum, and her benefits are getting cut. We cant afford to move house but we cant afford to pay the mortgage. I got a part time job a few months back, and I dont know wether I should keep at it (even though I'm falling behind at school) so i can help pay the bills or if I should quit, focus on my education and, inevitably, move out in a couple of years. Im too exhausted to think it through myself and could do with your help. :)
Ask Sam


Hi there,

It’s really good to hear from you. I can see that you are trying to make a decision between keeping your part-time job to help pay bills or quitting your job and staying in education. I can see you're feeling the pressure of your financial situation and you are wondering if you should continue with the job you got to help, even though it is having an affect on you school work.

One way to start putting your thoughts into order could be to write down all the things that affect this decision and then make a list with points for and against each option. This can help to focus and stop you from missing anything important. You mentioned that your parents haven’t sorted out the money yet after their split. As mum is having her benefits cut it might be a good time for her to look into this. If there is a family member, social worker, legal advisor or local housing officer that mum could talk to she might get helpful advice which could make a real difference. Sometimes the people at your local Citizens Advice Bureau can answer questions about benefits.

You mentioned that you are falling behind at school and feel exhausted and I wonder if anyone has noticed this. It sounds like your education is important to you. The teachers at your school are there to support you - telling a trusted teacher could help you to get the support you deserve. They may be able to sort something out that will allow you to organise your work and feel less exhausted.

You have been really brave to talk to me about this situation and I can see that it is a lot to cope with alone. There are people there to support you and your mum. One way that you could talk things through is to contact a counsellor at ChildLine through the 1-2-1 chat service, or you could read our page for young carers in the Explore section on the ChildLine website. There is also help for young people who care for others on the Young Carers website.

Well done for writing to me to ask for support.

Take care


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