Young and ‘care-full': The support needs of young kinship carers

Project Details

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.

toddler holding hand

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.

Research Interviews

We are conducting interviews with young kinship carers, and with young people who have had experience of care by a young relative or friend. If you are a young kinship carer or young people and would like to be interviewed,  please contact Meredith Kiraly. If you know of any young kinship carers or young people who might be willing to participate, we are also keen to hear from you.

Contact us

Research Survey

In addition we are conducting a nationwide survey of young kinship carers, and are keen to hear from young kinship carers. You can access the survey using the link below.

Survey of young people caring for related or known children or teenagers

toddler having soup

Download the Project Brief (PDF, 140.74 KB)



  • R E Ross Trust
  • Sidney Myer Fund

Research Outcomes

Presentation to the 2016 Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference.

Presentation 2016 (PPTX, 3984.85 KB)

Literature about young 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.

Social Policy Research Centre. (2011). Young carers: Social policy impacts of the caring responsibilities of children and young adults, Final Report. Sydney: University of New South Wales.

Research Group

Partnership for Innovation in Out-of-home Care

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health & Well-being, Practice and service improvement

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Social Work

Unit / Centre

Partnership for Innovation in Out-of-home Care