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Who are Young Carers?Young carers are children and young people under the age of 26 who care for and support a family member who has a disability, chronic condition, terminal illness, mental illness or who has a drug or alcohol dependency.The person they help care for may be a parent, sibling, grandparent, other relative, or friend.
Statistics There are approximately 304,800* young carers (1 out of every 20 people under 25) in Australia. Approximately 100,200* young carers under 25 live in NSW. Carers NSW Young Carers Program currently has 3,233 Young Carer members throughout NSW. *(SDAC 2009)
What are some of the things Young Carers do?Personal Care Household Care Emotional Support Feeding Shopping Listen Bathing Cleaning Provide encouragement Dressing Paying bills Attend appointments Medication management Repairs Monitor moods and behaviours Lifting / moving Gardening Toileting Cooking Grooming Washing
The impacts of caring• PHYSICAL Heavy lifting and carrying out household tasks like cooking and cleaning, can put strain on developing bodies.• EMOTIONAL Young Carers might feel worried, anxious or stressed out when they are with, or away from, the person they care for. They may also feel guilt, anger, trapped, isolated or misunderstood.• SOCIAL Young Carers may not have time to hang out with friends and take part in after school activities and are at higher risk of being bullied.• EDUCATIONAL Young Carers are at higher risk of not completing their education and therefore face more obstacles when entering the workforce.
Positive aspects of caring• CARING SKILLS Young Carers develop caring skills which they often use in future employment, for example, social work or nursing.• MATURITY Young Carers are often very mature for their age.• CLOSE FAMILY BONDS Young Carers are often very close to the family members they care for.
HIDDEN CARERS Looking behind the BEHAVIOUR to see the YOUNG CARER
LAZY?Looks like….• Falling asleep in class• Hasn’t done homework• Attention wandering• Finding it difficult to concentrate• Poor attendance
LAZY?Looks like…. Could be….• Falling asleep • Up all night taking care in class of a sick sibling • Has to cook, clean,• Hasn’t done homework prepare lunches and get siblings ready for• Attention school every day wandering • Parent has depression and won’t let young• Finding it difficult carer leave home to go to concentrate to school • Has to take on an after• Poor attendance school job in order to help support the family financially
SHOW OFF?Looks Like….• Attention seeking• Ambitious• Class clown• Bullying
SHOW OFF?Looks Like…. Could Be….• Attention seeking • Sibling with a disability needs extra parental• Ambitious attention• Class clown • Own needs not being acknowledged at• Bullying home • Anticipatory grief for terminally ill family member
LONER?Looks like….• Not included in peer activities• Victim of bullying• Works/sits alone• Doesn’t have friends over to the house
LONER?Looks like…. Could be…. • Never learnt how to• Not included in peer relate to own age group activities • Fear of being teased about mum who has a• Victim of bullying mental illness • Doesn’t know how to• Works/sits alone assert own needs • Has had no opportunity• Doesn’t have friends to learn social skills over to the house • Too embarrassed to invite friends home
NEGLECTED?Looks Like….• Unclean clothing• Lack of / ill-fitting uniform or suitable clothing• Inadequate food• No finances for excursions, etc• Unkempt appearance
NEGLECTED?Looks Like…. Could Be…. • Demands of caring role• Unclean clothing means there is no time to do washing• Lack of / ill-fitting • Cost of medication results uniform or suitable in financial hardship clothing • Parent with back injury• Inadequate food can’t do the shopping • High needs of disabled• No finances for sibling means no attention excursions, etc given to needs of young carer• Unkempt appearance
PRECOCIOUS?Looks like....• Talks in an adult way• Used to taking control• Has a lot of knowledge about disability/illness• Is said to have a “caring nature”
PRECOCIOUS?Looks like.... Could be.... • Used to liaising with• Talks in an adult way service providers at home• Used to taking control • May have to take on some responsibilities that are considered• Has a lot of knowledge ‘parental’ about disability/illness • Used to taking the lead in decision making• Is said to have a “caring nature” • May have to make important medical decisions on behalf of parent
DRAMA QUEEN?Looks Like….• Crying• Over-reacting• Anger• Moodiness• Teen angst
DRAMA QUEEN?Looks Like…. Could be….• Crying • Not coping with caring responsibilities• Over-reacting • Worried/anxious about person requiring care• Anger • Too embarrassed to ask• Moodiness for help• Teen angst • Guilt about wanting own life • Depression about future
What does the Young Carer Team do?The NSW Young Carer Program was created to:• be a central point of contact for young carers to access information and be referred to appropriate services.• support young carers through counselling, either on the telephone or face-to-face.• keep young carers informed via the young carer website and through the quarterly newsletter YC News and monthly YC E-News.• raise public awareness of young carer issues and help to educate people about what it means to be a young carer.• develop networks throughout the state and nationally to improve services for young carers and their families.• Offer opportunities and training to young carers who want to advocate for and raise awareness of young carers as a Young Carer Representative
Young Carer Program: Age Ratio 1% <8 17% 42% 8-12 40% 13-17 18-25
Young Carer Program: Cultural 5% Unknown 7% 47% Australian41% ATSI CALD
Young Carer Program: Region Central Coast Central West Cumberland/prospect Far North Coast Hunter Illawarra Inner West Mid North Coast Nepean New England North Sydney Orana Far West Riverina Murray Sth East Sydney Sth West Sydney Southern Highlands Other
Young Carer Website www.youngcarersnsw.asn.au• Join the YC Club• YC Chat (discussion room)• Ask a question• Post a story or poem• News - activities & supports• Media stories about young carers• Young carer fact sheets• Useful contact numbers
YC NewsYC News is sent out every 3 months by post and includes:• News updates• Young carer stories• Competitions• Photos• Quick and easy recipes• Stories about types of illness or disabilities• Counselling information• And much more!!!
Young Carer E-NewsYC E-News is sent out monthly via email and includes:• News updates• Media releases• Upcoming young carer activities• Upcoming young carer camps• Young carer support groups• Other young carer events• Young carer research• Competitions• And much more!!!
Thank youFor more information, or to register a young carer, contact the Young Carer Team on 1800 242 636 To register for E-News visit the website atwww.youngcarersnsw.asn.au Any questions?