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 or friend who has a disability, mental illness or chronic illness, or who is frail aged.
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.
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
Young carers often take on a range of responsibilities including:
"I don't get time off... always cooking, homework, housework." Mick, 13 years old