Learn about young carers
Every young carer is an individual with unique circumstances and responsibilities.
Who are young carers?
Young carers are children and young people, aged 25 years or under, who help to support a family member or friend living with a disability, mental illness, drug or alcohol dependency, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates that there are 83,700 young carers aged 25 years or under living in NSW and 260,700 young carers in Australia (more than 3% of all people under 25)1. However, these statistics are considered to significantly underestimate the number of young carers.
1 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2019) Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers 2018. TableBuilder Dataset. Canberra: Australian Government. Retrieved from www.abs.gov.au/tablebuilder
What do young carers do?
Because young carers are looking after someone else, they usually have more responsibilities than other young people their age. If you are a young carer, some of the extra support you provide might include:
- Practical support – Cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping, looking after siblings, paying bills or interpreting for a family member.
- Emotional support – Listening, monitoring moods and behaviours, encouraging or providing a shoulder to lean on.
- Personal support – Assisting with medication, bathing, feeding, lifting/moving, toileting or dealing with emergencies.
Did you know…?
Those are just some examples but young carers often do lots of different things, it really depends on each person’s situation. Did you know…?
- You don’t have to live with the person you care for to be a young carer!
- You don’t have to be the main person looking after or supporting someone to be a young carer!
- You don’t have to receive the Carer Payment or Carer Allowance from Centrelink to be a young carer!
Being a young carer can be an amazing and rewarding experience but at times it can also be stressful, frustrating and just plain difficult. But the good news is that you don’t have to do it alone and help is available. Visit Young Carer Program at Carers NSW for more information about how to access support and how we can help.