Young carers’ sacrifices recognised with boost to bursaries

Young carers suffer for their noble instincts to help others, but that may be about to change. <i>Photo: Getty</i>

Young carers suffer for their noble instincts to help others, but that may be about to change. Photo: Getty

The federal government will extend support for young carers who want to continue their studies while tending to the needs of loved ones.

Around one in 10 Australians are unpaid carers, including 235,000 young carers (aged 12-25).

Young carers face a higher risk of unemployment and underemployment, along with long-term welfare dependence related to difficulties engaging in education, federal Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said.

“We don’t want young carers missing out on their education or missing the opportunity to connect with friends,” Ms Rishworth said in a statement.

The federal government will boost funding to a Carers Australia-delivered bursary program by $10 million, increasing the value and number of bursaries available for the historically oversubscribed program.

“The bursaries promote future financial security for many of our young carers across Australia,” Ms Rishworth said.

“This funding boost will increase the number of bursaries available by almost 60 per cent.”

Carers Australia CEO Alison Brook said the 2022 Carer Wellbeing Survey revealed young carers faced a higher level of financial hardship than other carers and were more likely to seek assistance.

“Young carers who have accessed the program tell us the bursaries have helped to relieve the financial pressures they experience so they can focus on their studies, develop academic and workforce ready skills, balance competing demands, and also improve their emotional, social and mental wellbeing,” Ms Brook said.

To date the bursaries have supported more than 9000 young carers across the country.

Applications for next year’s young carer bursary program open on July 18, 2023, through the Young Carers Network.


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