Young carers: help and support
If you're a young carer, there are services available to support you.
Young carer resources and support
Are you a young carer?
An information flyer from the Australiam Government Department of Social Services
When your parent has a mental illness
For youth aged 12 to 15 years with a parent who experiences mental illness. This guide has been produced by the Australian Infant, Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Association Ltd for the COPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness) national initiative.
Carer Advisory Line
Call 1800 242 636* (weekdays 8.30am to 5pm) to talk to a Carers Victoria advisor about some common experiences for young carers and, what supports are available for them.
The advisory line can help arrange free counselling, find someone to talk to about problems you may have, and get help and support.
The service can also offer suggestions on how your school can support and assist you.
There are also a number of events and a Young Carer Festival held each year. Contact the advisory line to find out how you can take part.
The carer counselling program provides carer specific counselling around the impact and experience of being a young carer. Up to six sessions with a counsellor in your local area or telephone counselling can be arranged. Many people find it helpful to have someone to talk to about any issues or challenges they may be facing.
Young Carer Scholarships
Carers Victoria's Young Carer Scholarship program gives young carers attending secondary school the opportunity to be acknowledged for their contributions to their family and the community and to participate in school or community based activities that enhance their skills, educational achievement and abilities, or that help them to participate more fully in their community. Find out more here.
Respite provides temporary relief for carers e.g. time away from the caring situation, personal care for the person being cared for, fun activities, group outings, individual support, camps and holiday programs. Find out more here.
Young carer information and referral service
Young carers are too often a hidden group of young people, our aim is to support young carers by identifying each young carer's needs and referring them to appropriate support services. We support those in the community who work with young people to ensure young carers continue to be identified and are well supported in their caring role.
A primary focus is to help young carers remain in education, there are various programs designed to achieve this goal and the government provides support for young carers to stay in higher education through their national Young Carer Bursary Programme.
Carers Victoria is committed to raising awareness of young carers in the community and to supporting schools and services to better provide for their needs. Carers Victoria aims to reach all young carers across the state, in their various caring situations, whether it is a young person caring for a parent, sibling or other family member with a mental illness, disability or chronic health condition, or who is elderly. We aim to reach and lend support to young carers of CALD background, who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, or those living in more regional or remote locations.
The Young Carer Statewide Program Coordinator liaises with various sectors and service providers across the state to better equip them to identify and cater for young carers' needs.
Carers Victoria coordinates a Young Carer Service Provider Network (YCSPN) consisting of people who work with young carers (including social workers, youth workers, school counsellors, wellbeing workers, mental health workers and disability support workers). This network has over 75 members from 46 different organisations across the state and serves to keep members informed of services and supports for young carers in Victoria.
There are many activities and programs running across the state and most young carers express that they find it meaningful to be a part of something, appreciate having their extra responsibilities acknowledged, and find it helpful/reassuring to know they are not alone in their caring situation.
If you are interested to be added to the email list for this network please contact the Program Coordinator on (03) 9248 9636.
*free call from local phones, mobile calls at mobile rates.