Giving young carers a break

YOUNG carers on the Coffs Coast are about to get a reprieve, thanks to some new Federal Government funding.

The Gillard Government is investing around $25 million over the next three years to continue supporting young carers across Australia with more than $300,000 of that dedicated to the Mid North Coast.

The funding extension will allow 53 Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres to continue delivering help, education and support services to young carers.

It will also mean Carers Australia can continue to provide information and referral services for young carers as part of the Young Carers Program.

“Many young carers spend long hours caring for loved ones, in some cases more than 40 hours a week, while at the same time balancing school or work commitments,” said Minister for Families, Housing and Community Services Jenny Macklin.

“We want to keep young carers in school, or other equivalent vocational education, so they have the same life chances as other young people.”

The Young Carers Program provides access to respite services to help young carers at school take time off to study, spend time with friends and enjoy regular activities that other young people take for granted like playing team sport.

The program also provides flexible activities to help reduce stress on young carers, including educational, social and recreational activities such as tutoring, cooking and budgeting lessons and fun school holiday activities.

“We understand that caring for a loved one is a huge responsibility for children and young people, and we are committed to providing a range of support to help young carers achieve their personal goals.”

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