Carers Australia, the national peak body representing Australia’s carers, has launched a record round of grants to help young carers cover their educational expenses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2022 Young Carer Bursary Program supports young carers by providing financial assistance to return to, or continue, their education while keeping up their caring responsibilities.
Funded by the federal government, the Young Carer Bursary Program is offering 1,000 grants nationwide, with each grant providing $3,000 to a young carer.
In Australia, it is estimated that about 235,000 young people aged 12-25 carry out a caring role for family or friends. They often juggle school, work and their caring responsibilities, which can range from household chores, cooking, assisting with medication, looking after younger siblings, and providing emotional support and advocacy to the person they care for.
Carers Australia says the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the health and wellbeing of young carers, as well as increase the level of care they need to provide.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen more people than ever fulfilling a caring role,” Carers Australia CEO, Liz Callaghan, said.
“This is particularly impacting young carers as they’ve been required to isolate at home with the person they care for, and deal with disrupted schooling.
“This is concerning as research shows that young carers are already more susceptible to social isolation, financial and educational disadvantage, unemployment and poor physical and mental health. These grants are available to acknowledge and support young carers and ensure they do not forgo their future career opportunities.”
Applications for the 2022 Young Carer Bursary Program are open from 16 August to 30 September.
Young carers in secondary through to tertiary education (first undergraduate degree only) are eligible to apply.
For further details on eligibility and how to apply, visit the Young Carers Network here