[Sub ID 4314] Collaborative assessment and pathway planning for young carers (Carers Association of WA Inc.)

Submission ID: 4314
Organisation name: Carers Association of WA Inc (Carers WA)
Contact name: Mr Paul Coates
State: WA
Contact email: paul.coates@carerswa.asn.au
Contact number: 0892287420

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?
Carers WA has over 2,000 young carer members with a first-hand understanding of their lived experience. This knowledge is augmented by access to extensive research gathered by the National Network of Carers Associations. Key messages from this research bank are:
• young carers with lower levels of education tend to have higher reliance on income support compared with non-carers with similar levels of education and they are less likely to be undertaking study.
• young carers spend, on average, about 25% more time on income support than non-carers.
• 70.6% of young carers have some use of income support after completing care (Bray 2012).
• the relationship between reliance on income support during and after caring is very clear and strong.

The main barriers to education and employment for young people in a caring role include:
• Limited time and accessibility to education/training due to caring responsibilities negatively impacting future employment opportunities.
• The adverse physical and mental health impacts of caring restricting participation in education and employment.

Young carers differ from the other priority groups in that resources are required to substitute the care they provide for the family member when they are absent engaging in education/employment.

What is your idea?
To enable young carers to engage in education and employment, processes need to remove caring barriers to maximise the opportunities for success. This concept therefore involves a collaboration of agencies to address the three key issues facing the young carer, these are:

• Building, where needed, the confidence of the young carer who may have experienced isolation from peers and from mainstream activities (schooling etc.)
• Augmenting, where needed, any educational needs to bring the young carer (who may have missed some schooling) up to standard
• The need to ensure family care responsibilities are covered.

The agency collaboration (including the Carers Association, an employment specialist and local academic institutions) will undertake the following in a defined geographical area:

• Assess the family and carer situation (Is there a need for the young person to care? Are there alternatives? How much care is needed?)
• Assess the needs of the young carer (Introduce supports from the Carers Association. Develop confidence building/resilience. Referral to agencies for supports for the family member requiring care etc.)
• Identify plan and pathway for young carer to access education/training/employment.
• Identify care plan for family member to facilitate young carer education/employment pathway.