[Sub ID 4502] Individualised case management with holistic support for carers (Carers Australia)

Submission ID: 4502
Organisation name: Carers Australia
Contact name: Ms Sue Elderton
State: ACT
Contact email: ljones@carersaustralia.com.au
Contact number: 0261229923

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young carers

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Many young carers have reduced capacity to participate in the workforce as a result of their caring role; often a role they have not chosen but one that circumstance has thrust upon them.

Young carers share many similarities with other disadvantaged young people. However an important difference is the added complexity of the caring role, its varying nature, and the hindrance it creates to economic empowerment.

Many young carers provide substantial care not only to a person with a disability or chronic illness (who is often the parent); but also take on the parenting role for their siblings.

Any intervention to assist young carers to move from welfare to work will need to address the complex barriers which hinder their economic empowerment – which may include sourcing replacement care.

The caring role often results in young carers being socially isolated, having low physical and social well-being; which negatively impacts their networking opportunities, ability to engage successfully in education; and having a poor sense of self agency.

Carers Australia has extensive knowledge of young carers through well over a decade of engaging with, delivering programs to and undertaking extensive research into young carers, and this has informed our submission.

What is your idea?
Individualised case management approaches, and a willingness to work with other family members to get successful engagement, is essential to addressing the diversity of young carers’ experience.

A suite of interventions to be tailored to meet the needs of young carers, the person they provide care for, and their family (as appropriate); ultimately leading to sustainable economic empowerment.

The intervention will also provide guided pathways to employment which will be designed to address the needs of disadvantaged youth and the specific barriers confronting young carers including:

• Resistance to replacement care of those being cared for;
• Guilt associated with ceasing or decreasing the caring role;
• A lack of identity beyond the caring role and an incapacity to envisage a future beyond that role.

The intervention will help explore replacement care, including paid or unpaid options. It will provide a framework for developing job readiness, pre-employment, and ‘soft’ skills; including confidence building, counselling, and building family support and resilience as well as tailored, job applications, resume writing and interviewing.

Essentially this means combining support services for young carers and their families as well as the skills of employment service providers who are experienced in developing pathways to sustainable work for disadvantaged job seekers.