Young carers

Young carers

Diana Warren and Ben Edwards

LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2016 chapter— August 2017
rear view of young woman and adult in wheelchair

report cover thumbnail


Read full chapter: Young carers (PDF 474 KB)


Key findings

  • Almost 40% of LSAC 14-15 year olds spent some time caring for a person in their family or community who is elderly or has a health condition or disability.
  • At least one in ten 14-15 year-olds were caring for a household member, with around two-thirds of this group providing assistance with core activities including personal care, mobility and communication. 
  • The majority of 14-15 year olds who spent time providing care were helping someone who lived outside the family home. This help commonly involved assisting a classmate or helping out with chores when they visit their grandparents. 
  • While many of those providing care to someone living elsewhere did so on a weekly or monthly basis, more than half of those caring for a resident family member were providing daily care, with 22% spending more than two hours per day on these care activities. 

What effects are caring responsibilities having on these young people?

  • On average, young carers have lower performance levels in reading and numeracy than their non-caring peers.
  • The young carers most affected were those giving intensive care - those who provided daily care, particularly those who spent at least two hours per day, were more than a year behind their classmates in reading and numeracy.
  • Young carers are more likely to live in disadvantaged households.
  • Their lower educational attainment could have long-term effects on their future employment opportunities and life chances.

Publication details

LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2016 chapter
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, August 2017.

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