Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Summit tackles issues for young carers

Issues faced by young carers will be discussed with State and Federal government representatives at a two day summit being held on the Gold Coast.

Minister for Families and Community Services, Mal Brough, today officially opened the 2006 Young Carers Summit and highlighted the importance of supporting young people who care for a family member.

"This Summit brings together young carers, aged 15-24, with delegates from Federal and State Governments, service providers and carers associations," Mr Brough said following the opening.

"We acknowledge the enormous responsibility young carers take on and today we are providing an opportunity to look at the unique problems faced by young people who provide care for a relative.

"The Australian Government has committed almost $27 million over four years to the support of young carers through respite care and information services.

"Federally, we are providing some relief to young carers in various ways. For instance, some young carers, who are at risk of leaving fulltime education due to their caring responsibilities, are able to access up to five hours respite care per week during the school term, allowing them to attend school.

"In addition, these young people can access up to two weeks a year to provide relief in times of stress such as during exams or training.

"Young carers also have access to information, referral and advice services including counselling, as well as a website which provides important information and contacts to services in their area.

"The Australian Government is committed to supporting young people who provide care for a family member and I look forward to meeting with them and hearing their stories," Mr Brough said.