Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 2 August 2018) . . Page.. 2695 ..


(3) What services are available to young carers.

(4) Does the Government provide (a) any training to help carers deal with specific disabilities or health issues, (b) financial support to young carers and (c) any support for culturally and linguistically diverse young carers; if so, what support does the Government provide.

Ms Stephen-Smith: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The ACT Government acknowledges the diversity of young carers in Canberra, who provide assistance and support in many different ways. This diversity means that it is difficult to establish an agreed definition for young carers, or for carers more generally. Carers ACT, the peak body for carers in the ACT, defines young carers as people aged up to 25 who regularly care for a family member or other person who has a disability, a mental health issue, alcohol and/or drug problems, chronic illness or is frail aged. A young carer may not be the primary carer, but usually has additional responsibilities at home compared to other people their age.

(a) According to the 2015 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC), undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were an estimated 272,200 young carers in Australia. 1 This equated to approximately 1 in 12 (8.3%) people aged under 25 in Australia being carers.2

ACT-level SDAC data indicates that as of 2015, 4,000 people aged up to 24 identified as either a primary carer or a carer in the ACT. 3 The ACT-level data in SDAC should be used with caution due to the small sample size of carers.4

(b) The ACT Government does not collect data on the number of people being cared for by young carers. Carers ACT however reports that in the 2016–17 financial year it supported a total of 184 young carers, who were caring for 144 care recipients. Carers ACT notes that some families have more than one young carer, and others have a young carer supporting more than one person.

(2) The ACT Government does not collect specific data on the number of young carers who are studying or working. The final report of a research project into the caring responsibilities of young carers, undertaken by the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, based on 2006 ABS data, indicated that:

for the carer cohort aged 15-19 years in the ACT in 2006, 74.2 per cent of male carers and 75.9 per cent of female carers were in study, and 44.3 per cent of male carers and 52.4 per cent of female carers were in employment, and

for the carer cohort aged 20-24 years in the ACT in 2006, 40.3 per cent of male carers and 39.5 per cent of female carers were in study, and 75.7 per cent of male carers and 72.8 per cent of female carers were in employment.5

As this research reflects a previous generation of young carers, it may not reflect the current situation of young carers in the ACT.

(3) The ACT Government provides a range of supports to assist vulnerable children, young people and their families, through the Child, Youth and Family Services Program. Individual support for young carers is co-ordinated by the Student Engagement area of Education on a case-by-case basis.


Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video