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.
A central component of the project has been 40 interviews with young kinship carers and 15 interviews with young people who have experience of care by a young kinship carer. The interview component of the project is now complete.
Pilot support service for young kinship carers
We are working to develop a pilot program to provide support to young kinship carers across Australia with a Queensland community service, IFYS (Integrated Family and Youth Services) on the Sunshine Coast. See the Project Brief. The first step was a co-design workshop with 11 young kinship carers who came together from three states in late November 2018.
For more information about any aspect of the project, please contact Meredith Kiraly
- 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.
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