Did you know that some of your students could be young carers? Approximately 235,000 carers are aged between the ages of 12 and 25. Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue, or who are frail aged – anyone at any time can become a carer.
With approximately 2.65 million Australians as carers, Carer’s Week is a chance to show appreciation for carers and learn and raise awareness about them – because carers need care too! National Carer’s Week, 16-22nd October 2022, is a time to recognise and celebrate our Australians who provide care and support to a family member or friend.
Young carers often juggle multiple roles at once. School, work, care responsibility, on top of chores, personal tasks, and helping out siblings. They often don’t see themselves as ‘young carers’ so it’s important to look for signs that assist in identifying young carers. These include:
- Punctuality – arriving late to school or handing in assignments late with no clear explanation
- Stress – exhibiting signs that they are stressed or overwhelmed
- Isolation – appearing to be isolated from others or may be experiencing bullying
- Low attendance – frequently missing days from school with no clear explanation
- Minimal parental involvement or engagement – parents or guardians of the student do not attend parent-teacher interviews or school meetings regularly
- Attention – not focusing or engaging during class and other activities
- Academic performance – underperforming or inconsistent performance
- Fatigue – difficulty concentrating and referencing being tired regularly
Get involved in National Carer’s Week by hosting or attending an event, downloading and displaying promo posters, spreading the word on social media, and even contacting your local MP to publicly support National Carer’s Week.