Young and ‘care-full': The support needs of young kinship carers
The University of Melbourne is conducting research into kinship care arrangements with young kinship carers (age 30 years or under). These include older sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, cousins, family friends, etc. We know from the Australian census that there are over 10,000 young kinship carers living in their own independent households, and far more living in multi-generational households.
Previous research has focused on young people who have a caring role with frail aged family members or those with disabilities. This research has revealed that these young carers experience significant disadvantage in relation to educational and employment opportunities, as well as a lack of needed social supports. However, there has as yet been no attention to the circumstances and support needs of young kinship carers. We want to understand these care arrangements so that children and young carers can be better supported.
We have been conducting interviews with young kinship carers. We are now particularly keen to talk to young people who have had experience of care by a young relative or friend. Young people must be 18+ or if younger, they must be in voluntary (informal) kinship care. If you know of any young people who might be willing to participate, please contact Meredith Kiraly or
Pilot support service for young kinship carers
We are working to develop a pilot program to provide support to young kinship carers across Australia. See the Project Brief.
- R E Ross Trust
- Sidney Myer Fund
- Oz Child
Literature about sibling kinship carers
Roth, D., Lindley, B., & Ashley, C. (2011). Big Bruv Little Sis: Research findings on sibling carers raising their younger sisters and brothers. London: Family Rights Group.
Selwyn, J., & Nandy, S. (2012). Sibling kinship carers in England: Evidence from the 2001 population census. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(1), 194-199.
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.