Young Carers Program

A Young Carer is a person under the age of 25 who provides care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail.

Sometimes young carers share their caring responsibilities with a friend or family member, but many young carers are the sole carer for the person in their family needing care.

For most young carers, helping to look after somebody else is just a normal part of life, just like going to school or work. Even though it is a rewarding experience, it can sometimes be challenging especially when friends at school or work may not have the responsibilities at home that Young Carers have.

The good news is that Young Carers do not have to do the caring alone. There are plenty of people close by who can provide young carers with help and support.

Supporting Young Carers

Carers Queensland supports you through:

  • Providing confidential telephone counselling
  • Small group and face-to-face counselling
  • Giving information about available services and providing guided referrals (this means we do the work for you)
  • Hosting focused workshops and the occasional special event
  • Posting you “A Young Carers Kit”
  • Talking to your school/Uni/Tafe about the best ways they can support you
  • FREE membership for under 18s to The CARE Program…with discounts and other great value products and services.

We also work with other services like health professionals and government to enhance the recognition and awareness of Young Carers, their roles and needs.

Young Carers toolkit – **NEW**

Do you work in a school?

The ABS Census tells us there are over 60,300 young carers in Queensland: that’s two in every classroom. Trying to balance caring responsibilities with growing up and attending school can be really challenging.

The YSCI Young Carers Toolkit is full of information to help young carers and the people in schools helping them make the most of teenage life.

Download the YCSI Young Carers toolkit.

Useful links

Are you a Young Carer?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Young Carers

Young Carers translated information is available below:

Here you’ll find a bunch of information to help you manage your caring role, as well as stories from other young carers to remind you that you’re not alone. There is advice on school, study and work, looking after yourself, friends and relationships, getting help and government assistance, as well as a forum you can take part in. (1800 55 1800) Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25. For teens and young adults, this site is for anyone looking for information about issues that aren’t always comfortable to talk about, such as bullying, family issues, failure, stress, friends, drugs and alcohol. Livewire connects and support young people affected by an illness or disability through online groups, chats, blogs and entertainment. If your mum or dad has a mental illness, COPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness) is a great online resource. It is full of information, from videos to printable resources in eight languages. It includes information for teachers/schools, doctors and friends/family who may not understand your situation. Here you’ll find the online diaries of four fictional teenagers, based on real stories, whose lives have been affected by a family member or friend with a mental illness. The Desk is an online interactive program to help tertiary students cope and succeed in their schooling. The Money Stuff website provides information to help young people prepare for independent living with a focus on employment matters, consumer rights and financial literacy. The Youth Advocacy Centre can help young people with legal matters, problems at home or school, lack of housing or income, being the victim of a crime (including abuse), discrimination and general hassles. The services are voluntary and confidential.

Support services for young carers

Carers Queensland Young Carer Counselling: Organise a counselling session by calling the Carer Advisory Service (CAS), Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm, on 1800 242 636.

Commonwealth Respite & Carelink Centres: To find out about young carer respite initiatives, and to see if you are eligible, contact your local Commonwealth Respite & Carelink Centre, available Monday-Friday, 9am – 5pm, on 1800 052 222.

after hours GP helpline: If someone you know or look after becomes ill or hurt at night, on a public holiday or over the weekend, and you are not sure what to do, then you can now call the after hours GP helpline. The helpline will connect you to a GP or a nurse for reassurance and the practical medical advice that you need. Call 1300 432 584 (free from landlines; mobile charges may apply).

In an emergency you should still call 000.

Learn more about young carers

Who Cares? We Do (4.36MB), information and advice for young carers, Carers Australia, 2011

Young Carers in Education: Supporting Rural and Remote Young Carers, Carers Australia, 2011

Supporting Families, Supporting Young Carers, Carers Australia, 2009

Fact sheet about young carers, Carers Australia

Contact the Young Carer Project Officer

Contact YC Co-ordinator

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