[Sub ID 4457] Enterprising Young Carers (Policy Hack Table 6)

Submission ID: 4457
Organisation name: Policy Hack Idea Table 6 (Young Carers)

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?
The 2015 Australian Priority Investment Approach to Welfare baseline valuation report indicates of all young carers (aged under 25) accessing carer payments in 2005, 58 per cent were still in receipt of a welfare payment 10 years later. Young carers face barriers that can significantly impact their personal development, prevent them from fully engaging in education or training, and limit their ability to find meaningful employment, increasing their likelihood of becoming welfare dependent. Young carers often undertake significant caring tasks and assume a level of responsibility in families that would ordinarily be attributed to a parent or other adult. Many young carers are time poor and are also more likely to be financially disadvantaged (Cass 2011).

There is a need to support young carers to enable them to finish their education and increase their opportunities for workforce engagement. Research shows that multi-component interventions can provide positive outcomes for carers (Eagar et al., 2007), with anecdotal evidence indicating that for successful transition out of the caring role, or effectively balance caring with education and/or employment, there is a need for wrap around supports, including: flexible work (place, hours and activities); building on and recognising existing skills, and developing; positive carer role models and mentors; and financial support.

What is your idea?
“Enterprising Young Carers” would pilot a peer based, young carer micro-enterprise program supporting young carers to increase their capacity, skills and develop community based businesses based on flexible home or locally based employment.

The aim is for young carers to learn new skills, have existing skills recognised (improving pathways into paid employment), provide new connections into their communities, and ultimately generate income.

The initiative would provide multi-component supports, including structured coaching and mentoring; small group peer support; skills building/training; and business activation

Young carers would undertake a structured six week coaching program as part of small peer support groups led by trained mentors (people with lived carer experience), to provide support and education aimed at increasing self-esteem and self-efficacy, improving life skills, coping strategies and problem-solving.
Trained enterprise activators would support participants to develop business ideas as part of a micro-enterprise, enabling young carers to gain new skills, work collectively towards a goal, gain flexible and locally-based employment and providing a stepping stone into the workforce.
Small amounts of seed funding would support approved young carer micro-enterprises with establishment costs. Participants would also be supported and encouraged to find alternate funding sources through local businesses, councils, or small community grants.