Young carers are people up to 25 years old who provide unpaid care and support to family members or friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, mental illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged. They may be a co carer for example taking on extra responsibility to help mum/dad look after their sibling with a disability.
There are 71,600 young carers in Victoria ,most likely this figure is under reported as most young carer do not identify as being a carer. There are 2.65 million unpaid carers in Australia and at least 235,000 of these are young carers. The person they care for may be a parent, partner, sibling, their own child, other relative or friend. Registered on the Carer Gateway there is 1 in Strathbogie shire and 18 across our region. BUT we know there Is on average 2-3 in every class room so the maths does not add up! We need more knowledge on young Carers and to get the word out there!
What do young carers do?
- Young carers often take on a range of responsibilities including:
- shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing and household chores
- specific care tasks such as assisting with mobility, grooming, bathing, toileting
- support and monitoring of the family members needs
- social and emotional support
- managing financial issues – property maintenance, paying bills, banking
- care for other siblings in the family
- liaising with service providers and health care professionals e.g. making appointments, discussing treatments and medications
- interpreting for family members where English is a second language, and
- looking after siblings who have a disability if a parent is unable to look after them because of their own health issues.
Sometimes these tasks may look like standard chores however they take on extra responsibility as soon as the person they do it for has a disability, illness or is aged.
A carer can be any age
Questions to ask if you don’t know if someone is a Carer:
- Do you regularly look after a family member or friend who is ill or has a disability?
- Do your caring responsibilities affect your ability to work, study or socialise?
- Are you looking for some support to make your life easier?
If you or anyone answer yes to any of these questions then the Carer Gateway can help.
Still not sure? check out our young carer quiz!
Support for young carers: Carer Gateway
Carer Gateway is the Australian Governments national carer hub providing reliable services, supports and advice specifically for carers. Services and supports include carer support & planning, counselling, In Person Peer Support, carer coaching, carer skills courses, and access to emergency & planned respite.
There are 2.65 million unpaid carers living in Australia. That’s 1 in 9 people.
Carer Gateway is the best place to start to help you navigate the many services and supports available for carers through Federal, State and local government and non-government providers. Carer Gateway offers a national website at www.carergateway.gov.au or you can phone 1800 422 737. Familycare Shepparton is the local provider of Carer Gateway services. Give me a call anytime to discuss a carer’s needs.
What support is available?
- Counselling – if you are feeling stressed, anxious, sad or frustrated, a counsellor can talk with you either in person or over the phone in the comfort of your own home.
- Connect with other carers – you might like to meet with people like you who care for someone and share stories, knowledge and experience. You can do this with people in your area or you can join the carer forum online.
- Respite Care – if you get sick or hurt and you cannot look after someone, emergency respite services can help you. Service providers will find ways to look after the person you care for while you have a break. Planned respite care can also help you plan for regular breaks to rest and recharge.
If you need emergency respite call 1800 422 737 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Self-guided coaching – you can work through interactive online coaching sessions at your own pace. You can find a range of topics to help you in your caring role.
- Skills courses – you can use these short online courses to help you to learn new skills in caring for someone and yourself.
- Practical help and advice or information about financial support on the Carer Gateway webpages.
To access and discuss Carer Gateway options:
- Call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737, Monday to Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm.
- For an interpreter, call Telephone Interpreter Service on 131 450 to arrange a call to speak with us.
- Carers can self-refer or referrals can be made on their behalf. Via phone or this link https://ereferral.carergatewayvictoria.org.au/
To find out more:
- Visit the Carer Gateway website: www.carergateway.gov.au
Other supports for Young Carers:
Please follow FamilyCare on Social media to keep up to date with our latest information sessions and resources for carers.
For youth aged 12 to 15 years with a parent who experiences mental illness. This guide has been produced by the Australian Infant, Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Association Ltd for the COPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness) national initiative. View Guide