Is my child a young carer?
Are you a parent who cares for a family member or friend who has a disability, mental illness, drug or alcohol dependency, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail?
If so, then chances are one or more of your children helps you to provide care and/or takes on additional responsibilities. This makes them a young carer.
Are you a parent who has a disability, mental illness, drug or alcohol dependency, chronic condition or terminal illness?
If so, then chances are one or more of your children provides you with care and support, and can therefore be considered a young carer .
To be a young carer, a child does not need to live with the person the care for, does not need to receive a payment and does not need to be the primary source of care.
It may be surprising, upsetting or confusing to think of your child as a young carer. However by identifying as a young carer, a young person can feel acknowledged for the role they play in the family. With support in place, caring for a loved one can have a positive impact on a young person.
Research in Australia has revealed that the challenges of caring can lead young people to develop new life skills as well as maturity, compassion and stronger family bonds.[ii]
What can I do?
“My sister has a disability, that in itself is not rare, but why is it that people seem to stop and stare? If they’d just stop and talk to her, they’d find she is quite smart, and fun and happy and full of love, and even quite good at art.”
– Poem by a young carer, age 13, cares for a sibling who has a disability
“Even though someone might have an illness or disease, it doesn’t mean that they can’t live life to the fullest or achieve their goals and dreams. Even though my dad has schizophrenia it hasn’t stopped him doing what he loves best.”
– Young Carer, aged 14, cares for a parent who has a mental illness
– Young carer, age 11, cares for parents and a sibling who have hearing impairments