Who are young carers?
“Young carers are people aged 25 and under who help look after a family member who needs extra support at home. The person they care for may live with a disability, mental illness, a drug or alcohol problem, long term illness or who are frail aged.”
Young people can become carers due to many different reasons. You might be a young carer if you have a family member such as a sister, brother, parent, or grandparent who has a disability or illness. A carer might help with everyday tasks or something more specific like; medication, feeding, dressing, ensuring bills have been paid, doing chores such as shopping for food, doing extra washing, preparing dinner or looking after your siblings. Being a young carer doesn’t have to mean you are the main person who looks after your relative, but you will usually have extra responsibilities at home compared to other friends your age.
Why is it important for young carers to be aware of supports and services?
For many young carers, helping to look after somebody else is just a normal part of life, just like going to school or work. Even though this can be a rewarding experience, it can sometimes be challenging. You might not even realise you are a young carer or be a little worried about what will happen if you do reach out for support. Young carer services’ main priority is to support you whilst looking after your loved one, your role is more common than you might think.
There are over 22,000 young carers in Western Australia, approximately two young carers in every classroom.
What we can help with:
- Provide information and assistance in finding the right financial help for you.
- Set-up a tailored support package to purchase important equipment for study.
- Connect you with local youth supports in your area so you can have a social break.
- Link in with your school, university or TAFE to explore how they can better support you.
How to access support now:
Carers WA are the peak body that represents the needs and interests of carers in Western Australia. We work to improve the quality of life for family carers and understand that as a young person, it may be hard to ask for help or find someone you trust to guide you in the decisions you make. Contact Carers WA on 1300 227 377 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm) or email email@example.com so we can help you plan your caring journey and learn about financial assistance and free services you may be eligible for.
By calling Carers WA and assessing your caring situation, you will be prepared for any sudden events or emergencies and much more. For example: “Tori, 18, was a university student studying in WA. She was looking after her brother with low-functioning Autism and Dyspraxia. By accessing services and supports with Carers WA, Tori was able to be linked in with a local peer support group and learn about self-care and management.”
- Information for Young Carer Payments (payments for carers, youth allowance, student start-up loan and the Young Carer Bursary Program) can be found here.
- Information about the Carer Gateway Financial Help (financial help for health care, disability or for aids and equipment) can be found here.
- To search online for a suitable payment, view the Carer Gateway “How to get and manage carer payments“, or contact the Carer Gateway line on 1800 422 737 (Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 5.00pm) to see what payments you are eligible for. If you are already on a payment, you may still be eligible for Carer Gateway financial assistance.