Some young people provide extra support and care for a family member who has a disability, mental illness, chronic illness or is frail aged. Caring responsibilities can have positive effects but can also create some extra challenges.
There are a range of services that can help young people balance their time between providing care and support while still having fun and staying connected to school and/or work.
Services for Young Carers
There are a range of services and resources that can help young people balance their time between providing care and support while still having fun and staying connected to school and/or work, which include:
Young Carer program:
The Young Carer Program aims to support young carers with their caring role at home, while providing educational and social support and taking some time out for themselves. Support includes brokerage funds, homework groups, monthly activities and mentoring programs.
PHONE: 9396 9550
WEB: Carers Victoria – Young Carer Program
Vocational Support for Carers program (through JobCo.)
Vocational Support for Carers is a Government funded program that provides increased support in the area of education, training, volunteer work, employment and upskilling, while allowing the carer to maintain their caring role.
PHONE: (03) 9356 8600
The Victorian Young Carer Action Team (VYCAT)
PHONE: 9396 9500
This statewide group of young carer representatives aged 15-24 aims to increase awareness and the quality of life for all young carers. Nominations for new members open annually.
National Carer Counselling Program
Free short term counselling (6 sessions).
Flexible delivery options (telephone, face-to-face, & video/Skype).
In-house (at a location in Footscray) and contracted provision of services in Brimbank.
PHONE: Carer Advisory Line: 1800 242 636 (Freecall)
WEB: National Carer Counselling Program
Free counselling for young people aged 12-24 who have a parent/guardian who has or has died from cancer. Flexible delivery options (telephone, face-to-face, group & online/email).
PHONE: 9912 4219 or 9912 4221
WEB: Counselling and Individual Support
Sibling Support Groups
Melbourne City Mission – T.I.M.E. Out Sibling Program & Give Me 5
Run groups, workshops and excursions for children and young people who have a brother or a sister with a disability, along with activities for young carers. The groups provide a fun and safe environment to meet other siblings and say: T.I.M.E. Out – This Is Me Everybody.
PHONE: 9385 3211
Carers Victoria has a range of resources for young carers, their families and service providers. The young carer kit contains booklets for young carers, for parents, a relaxation CD, pen, bookmark, wristband, magnet and pamphlet. All items are available separately. Scholarships for young carers are offered annually in March.
PHONE: 1800 242 636
WEB: Carers Victoria – How We Can Help
For a list of age appropriate DVDs and books available for young carers check out the library catalogue: http://vufind.brimbank.vic.gov.au/
Type ‘Young Carers’ in the search box.
PHONE: 9249 4296
FURTHER HELP ONLINE.
Carers Victoria www.carersvictoria.org.au
Reach Out www.reachout.com.au
FaPMI www.bouverie.org.au/programs/ mental-health-team/fapmi
Association for Children with a Disability www.acd.org.au
Siblings Australia www.siblingsaustralia.org.au
Mind Australia www.mindaustralia.org.au
Little Dreamers www.littledreamersonline.com
Australian Drug Foundation www.adf.org.au
Young Carers WA www.youngcarerswa.asn.au