The Morrison Government is providing over $13 million to Carers Australia to continue their important advocacy work and deliver essential services to Australia’s 2.7 million carers.
Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher said the funding for three years to the national peak body representing unpaid carers will enable Carers Australia to deliver a range of successful programs that benefit young carers such as the Young Carer Bursary Program and Young Carer Network.
“The funding will have a particular focus on helping young carers take part in all aspects of society, including the chance to participate fully in their study, community and family life.’
The Young Carer Bursary Program assists young carers, aged 25 years and under, to stay in school and reach their full potential.
“Through this extended funding, Carers Australia will award bursaries of $3,000 to around 1,000 young carers each year to relieve some of the pressure to work part-time in addition to their education and caring responsibilities.
“This funding builds on top of the $84 million funding boost for new carer services announced in the 2019-20 Budget representing one of the biggest reforms to carer services in more than a decade.
“The Liberal National Government has already invested $4.5 million and supported more than 980 young carers since the The Young Carer Bursary Program was introduced in 2014.” Mr Fletcher said.
Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson, said young carers balancing study, friends and caring can sometimes feel overwhelmed and alone, and that’s why targeted programs are so important.
“Of the estimated 272,000 young carers in Australia, three out of five don’t go on to further studies after high school due to their caring responsibilities and this puts them at risk of long-term disadvantage.
“I encourage all young carers to connect with the Young Carers Network run by Carers Australia, which provides an online community for young carers and directs them to pathways for support,” Ms Henderson said.
CEO of Carers Australia, Ara Cresswell, welcomed the Government’s funding and recognition of young carers.
“We are pleased that the Government has committed to continue the funding for these small but very successful programs over the next three years,” Ms Cresswell said.
“In the years that Carers Australia has been running these targeted supports, we have seen young carers benefit enormously, not only because the bursary has enabled them to continue with their education but it has also recognised them as young carers and the absolutely vital role they play in supporting their families.”
“Carers Australia will continue to raise awareness of the needs of young carers, who are often unseen and unrecognised for what they do.”
The funding also includes $624,000 for Carers Australia to deliver National Carers Week in October for the next three years to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution of unpaid Australian carers.
For more information visit the Carers Australia website.