[Sub ID 4539] Carer payment trigger for 18-21 year olds (Policy Hack Table 7)

Submission ID: 4539
Organisation name: Policy Hack Table 7

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?
Caring from a young age often has a negative impact on the social development of a young person. Young carers are more likely to miss out on school because of their caring responsibilities and suffer poor employment and educational outcomes. Factors which impact on the physical and mental health of a young carer include increased stress, inappropriate lifting and carrying, social isolation, limited sleep, low self-esteem and feelings of sadness and guilt. These issues all impact on the social and economic participation of young carers and result in increased rates of welfare dependency.

Evidence from the Department of Social Services indicates that at June 2016 there were 657 young carers aged under 19 on Carer Payment and 8,872 aged 19 to 24. The average future life time cost for each young carer is approximately $464,000. Without any intervention it is predicted that 60% of young carers aged under 25 will be receiving an income support in 10 years and 50% will be receiving income support payments in 20 years.

This proposal aims to provide a household centred approach for young carers and their family and provide specialist services to intervene at a critical transition point in their life when moving from Youth Allowance to Carer Payment.

What is your idea?
While there are currently no legislative age limits applicable to Carer Payment, all claims from carers aged under 18 years are referred to a social worker. Although the current process ensures that carers can and do provide the care receiver with level of care required to qualify for payment, further interventions are required to improve the future outcomes for young carers

It is estimated that around 21% of all current Carer Payment recipients aged under 25 were receiving Youth Allowance before moving to Carer Payment. This proposal will therefore build on current practices by intervening at a critical transition point in the life time cycle of a young carer when a person moves from Youth Allowance to Carer Payment. Currently there are around 4,000 Carer Payment recipients in the 18-21 age group, which will be the cohort targeted by this proposal.

The new service, which would be triggered by a successful Carer Payment claim, would be to work with the young carer using a family centred approach to find appropriate services that would enable this cohort to be redirected back into study, or where they have finished study, into employment.

The service would use a multi-disciplinary approach with a case manager being the first point of contact. However, referral to other specialists such as carer coaches who have experience in the caring role, or education/workforce readiness specialists would also be utilised to assist the carer back into education or into employment.

Trial sites could include areas where the National Disability Insurance Scheme has already been rolled out and locations of high social disadvantage.