[Sub ID 4635] Supporting Young Carers Program (The Salvation Army Employment Plus)

Submission ID: 4635
Organisation name: The Salvation Army Employment Plus
Contact name: Mrs Narelle Caulfield
State: VIC
Contact email: narelle_caulfield@aep.salvationarmy.org
Contact number: 0408919234

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?
Young people caring for a child, parent or family member face challenges in fulfilling caring and study or career commitments. Many drop out or fail to progress to further education or employment due to carer responsibilities.

The longer young carers are disengaged from employment or study the greater the likelihood of entrenched, long term unemployment. A lack of relevant work skills and experience distances them further from the labour market and employer expectations, including for entry level positions which require increasingly more qualification and experience.

The Salvation Army Employment Plus (EPlus) has undertaken a series of stakeholder consultations in early 2017, with focus groups including:
a) Young carers
b) Employers of young people
c) Youth experts, including representatives from universities, allied health specialists, local government, research organisations, peak industry bodies and youth and community service providers.

The consultation output has identified key issues relevant to young carers and informed the design of preliminary ideas for Try, Test and Learn. Participants emphasised the importance of easing the care burden the need for resilience building programs, peer to peer support and advocacy and promotion of young carers into more flexible and part time employment opportunities.

What is your idea?
The Supporting Young Carers (SYC) program will comprise three key elements:
1. Access to funded, structured respite (self care) to reduce the care burden allowing young carers to focus on employability skills enhancement for a set number of hours each week.

2. Resilience and skills training tailored for young carers to run 2 x three hour sessions per week over six weeks to include the following topics:
a. Emotional intelligence and stability: Social and emotional skills using elements of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy;
b. Stress coping strategies;
c. Strength finding;
d. Values, beliefs and self confidence;
e. Problem solving and decision making;
f. Communication and team effectiveness; and
g. Time management and responsibility management.

3. One to one support to access education and training opportunities and/or support and advocacy to access targeted employment opportunities with key employers able to provide flexible or part time employment opportunities. This may include industry taster initiatives such as job shadow days and work trials to provide insight into potential roles that provide more flexible working arrangements.

Participants will complete a guided self assessment on entry and completion of the program to measure the improvement in coping mechanisms, resilience and employability skills.