Who are young carers?
Young carers are children and young people, 25 years or under, who provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, mental illness, drug and/or alcohol dependency, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail. They carry out significant caring tasks, often on a regular basis, and assume responsibilities usually associated with an adult.
What do young carers do?
Support provided by young carers includes a range of practical, specialist and emotional assistance, which often exceeds community expectations of what a young person can and should be responsible for. Tasks taken on by young carers include cooking, cleaning, personal care, lifting, sibling care, dispensing medication, emergency aid, counselling, problem solving and conflict negotiation, depending on the needs of the person they support and other family members.
How many young carers are there?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates that there are 83,700 young carers aged under 25 living in NSW and 260,700 young carers in Australia (more than 3% of all people under 25).[i] However, these statistics are considered to significantly underestimate the number of young carers. Click on the statistics link below for more information.
How does caring impact upon a young person’s life?
Being a young carer can have many positive effects, including greater empathy to others, enhanced living skills and strong family bonds. However, a caring role that is beyond a young person’s capacity and maturity can have serious negative consequences for their health and wellbeing, education, employment, relationships and socialisation. Click on the impacts link below for more information about the impact of caring and barriers to seeking support.
For more information about young carer statistics or the impacts of being in a caring role at a young age, please click on the links below. Check out the research section for up-to-date research. If you would like to refer a young carer, please click here.