Support for young carers
Young carers are children and young people aged up to 25 who care for a relative or friend.
Many young carers assume an adult level of responsibility and their caring role can interfere with their education and training, employment and social development.
Taking on a caring role at a young age can have a dramatic impact on a young person—as well as the person who accepts their care and others involved in their lives.
These organisations offer support to young carers:
- Young Carers Network helps young carers find out about support services, access resources and share their stories and opinions.
- Wellways provides information and advice for young carers and can be contacted on 1300 111 400.
- The Carer Gateway (Australian Government) provides a range of information including help and advice, carer support and financial support for young carers. You can phone 1800 422 737 or request a call back.
- Studying and caring for someone can be challenging. To assist you to continue your education, you can speak with a guidance officer or counsellor at your school, college or university to find out what they can offer.
If you care for your brother or sister
- The Association for Children with a Disability provides resources to support siblings directly, and to assist parents in supporting siblings.
- Livewire is a free, safe and supportive online community for young people aged over 10 and under 21 who have a brother or sister living with a serious illness, chronic health condition or disability. It's a place where you can meet other siblings, share experiences with people who understand your situation, and gain the skills and knowledge to help you feel more in control of your situation.
- Raising Children Network has some great information on helping siblings of children with disabilities to cope and sibling feelings.
- Siblings Australia Inc provides support for brothers and sisters of people with special needs including disability, chronic illness and mental health issues. The organisation provides print and web-based resources, workshops and networking opportunities. Phone (08) 8357 1216.
Read personal stories from young carers about their experiences with giving and receiving care:
- Lachlan St Godard and his mum Margie talk about their close bond and overcoming challenges together
- Jan Christison discusses the support she receives from her family and living with mental illness
- Taylor Moon talks about caring for her mum, raising her brother and working towards her goals
- Belinda Jennings talks about her friendship with her younger sister, Emma, who has autism
- Shelley Heaton shares how having a disability doesn't hold her back, and supporting her daughter, Shona.
Mental health support
- If you are a young carer who needs emergency help, call triple zero (000).
- If you need to have a chat with someone besides your family and friends, contact Kids Helpline on phone 1800 551 800, access their online counselling or email a counsellor.
- You can also access mental health support and counselling specific to the service you need.