Young carers

The term ‘young carer’ is used to describe children and young people up to 25 years of age, who provide unpaid care for a family member who has a disability, mental illness or chronic illness, or is an older person with care needs.

Young carers

The term ‘young carer’ is used to describe children and young people up to 25 years of age, who provide unpaid care for a family member who has a disability, mental illness or chronic illness, or is an older person with care needs.

Are you a young carer?

Many young carers are unidentified. This can be for numerous reasons whether it is because young carers don't identify with the label "young carer" or family members, teachers, and other service providers aren't familiar with the signs of being a young carer.

Young carers are often a hidden group of young people. In Victoria there are an estimated 104,700 children and young people with caring responsibilities. 

Some young people may have caring responsibilities although they may not identify with this title. That is okay. Everyone has a unique and different identity that may not fit inside a title. This won't stop you from being able to access supports.

Caring responsibilities can have positive effects, such as developing skills and building strong relationships, as well as some negative short and long-term effects such as poor health and wellbeing, social isolation, difficulty with transitions into adulthood. 

"I felt sad if I got sick as there was no one to look after me." – A young carer

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.
"I don't get time off... always cooking, homework, housework." – Mick, 13 years old

The young carer quiz

Do you ever:

  • help take care of someone in your household who has a disability, chronic or mental illness, who is frail aged or has an alcohol or other drug problem
  • worry about leaving the person you care for home alone
  • get a sore back from lifting the person you care for
  • feel like you sometimes don't get to do regular stuff with your friends, and 
  • feel too tired to hang out with your friends or do school work?

If you said yes to any of these, and you would like to:

  • have the opportunity to speak to other young carers who may be in a similar situation
  • have a chat to someone about your caring role
  • get info about support groups
  • find out about Young Carer Groups, and
  • get personal support for the person you care for.  

then check out the resources below.

  • Help and support

    Find out more about the services that are available to support young carers in Victoria.

    Help and support

    Find out more about the services that are available to support young carers in Victoria.
  • For families, parents and guardians

    No matter what your relationship with the young carer in your life, it's important to let them know that they are supported and valued. Find out more about how you can support young carers.

    For families, parents and guardians

    No matter what your relationship with the young carer in your life, it's important to let them know that they are supported and valued. Find out more about how you can support young carers.
  • For teachers

    Information For Teachers

    For teachers

    Information For Teachers
  • For service providers

    Young carers often take on their caring role without help or supervision. Service providers are vital to building a professional support network for young people who are caring to make sure they can be healthy and happy.

    For service providers

    Young carers often take on their caring role without help or supervision. Service providers are vital to building a professional support network for young people who are caring to make sure they can be healthy and happy.
  • Young Carer Scholarship program

    Young carer scholarships – supporting young carers

    Young Carer Scholarship program

    Young carer scholarships – supporting young carers
  • Young Carer Bursary Programme

    Are you an eligible young carer?

    Young Carer Bursary Programme

    Are you an eligible young carer?
  • Young, LGBTIQ carers

    Young LGBTIQ Carers Program – Online Resource to help workers support carers like you

    Young, LGBTIQ carers

    Young LGBTIQ Carers Program – Online Resource to help workers support carers like you
  • Victorian Young Carer Action Team (VYCAT)

    The Victorian Young Carer Action Team (VYCAT) and advisory group is made up of 10 to 12 past or present young carers who are ‘the face of young carers’ and represent young carer’s across the state.

    Victorian Young Carer Action Team (VYCAT)

    The Victorian Young Carer Action Team (VYCAT) and advisory group is made up of 10 to 12 past or present young carers who are ‘the face of young carers’ and represent young carer’s across the state.

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