Who Are Young Carers?

Anyone up to 25* years of age who is completing primary, secondary or VCAL education, or intending to re-engage with school, who is providing significant support to someone with a disability, mental illness, drug and alcohol problem, or is frail aged. They may be a relative or a friend.

* Respite services are available to school aged young carers, mainly 18 years or under. Information, referral and advice services are available to all young carers up to and including 25 years of age.

Local Government Areas Covered
Banyule, Darebin, Moreland, Nillumbik, Whittlesea, Yarra and Hume.

What do Young Carers Help With

  • Looking after the household (eg paying bills, housework, cooking).
  • Personal care activities (eg helping with medications, toileting, showering, dressing).
  • Taking on extra family responsibilities (eg caring for brothers and sisters).
  • Attending medical appointments.
  • Providing emotional support.
  • Interpreting.

A young carer may:

  • Miss a lot of school.
  • Be distracted or stressed at school.
  • Not be able to complete homework.
  • Miss out on time with friends and other activities.
  • Think about leaving school.
  • Feel anxious, overwhelmed, confused, angry and guilty.

How the Young Carers Program Can Help

  • The program provides support to help young carers stay at school and better balance their education and caring roles.
  • Finding free or low cost respite that fits with the family (eg house cleaning, meal preparation, personal care).
  • Supporting with schooling needs (eg tutoring, camps, school uniforms and books).
  • Getting together with other young carers to have some fun.
  • Talking to someone about how the young carer is feeling.
  • Taking time out (eg recreational programs, social and fitness activities).
  • Having someone speak on the young carer’s behalf to services and school.
  • Getting information about the condition of the person the young carer is caring for.
  • Finding help and contacting useful services.
  • Feeling accepted regardless of background, race, religion, gender, culture and/or sexuality.

Download Free COPMI Resources

For use by families where a parent has a mental illness, their supporters, and services who work with them.