Taking on a carer role under the age of 25

A young carer is a child or young person who provides care when a parent or other family member becomes ill. Here we look at what you might have to do and where you can get help.

You might give occasional help or extended hours of daily care. It can involve providing household care (e.g. shopping, cooking), intimate care (toileting / bathing) or physical care (e.g. lifting and carrying).

If you undertake physical care, you can be injured if you are not physically strong enough. Sometimes you might be given too much responsibility (e.g. responsible for drugs and drips). This could cause you emotional distress if you do not have people who support you. There are resources available for young carers that can help.

Caring for a parent who is ill and dying is mentally very demanding. You may be at risk of depression and overwhelming anxiety. There are people who can help you with this:

  • Bereavement can be very painful and grief counselling can be very helpful.
  • Social workers or psychologists in the hospital and in community health centres can also support you.
  • You might need help with school. School counsellors can help you negotiate a special curriculum.
  • Social work assistance available through Centrelink may be valuable.

Last updated 02 August 2021