- Tier: Tier 1: Positive Mental Health Promotion
- Type of intervention: Peer support
- Strength of evidence: Level 3: Foundational and emerging evidence for program
- Geographic location: State-wide
In every classroom across Australia, two to three students will have a caring role. The Young Carer Project strives to create a school community where Young Carers have equal access to educational opportunities. The Young Carer Project currently works with schools in Victoria only. The program adopts a whole school approach to engineer a kind, safe and supportive school environment where Young Carers can thrive.
The goal of this project is to improve:
- young carers' educational and personal skills
- a schools' ability to better support young carers to complete school by greater awareness of their challenges and needs.
The model works by engaging key staff, young carers and the school community to embed the program and impacts in the school.
- More Young Carers are identified and connected with other Young Carers
- Young Carers have improved attitudes to education, attendance, and access to specific education supports
- Young Carers feel more supported
- Young Carers get bullied less
- More Young Carers successfully move into secondary pathways and complete secondary education
- Schools staff and school communities are more aware of available support for Young Carers
- School staff are empowered and feel confident to have discussions with Young Carers and families and raise awareness
- Parents feel more supported by the school community
|Little Dreamers Australia
Combination of face-to-face and online
*Individual schools can nominate how much of the program is delivered in-person vs. online.
- Target population: Young carers who care for a parent or sibling with a chronic illness, mental illness, disability, drug/alcohol addiction, or frail age, school staff and the wider school community (peers).
- Program adaptability: The program can be adapted for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background students.
- Staffing: Backfilling may be required.
- Training requirements: Key teachers and wellbeing staff will attend a 3-hour online or in-person training session as well as completing 3 online modules that take approximately 20 minutes each. Staff not participating in this training can complete 6 modules online. Computer or laptop access is needed for staff completing modules. There is a full-day in-person cohort-specific development session for Young Carers.
- Factors to consider: There is a minimum of 1 (ideally 2 -3) Teacher Champions and 5 Young Carers per school to participate in the program. The program provides ongoing free support for up to a year after completion of the program.
- Australian context: The program has been developed, evaluated and applied in Australia.
The program costs $11,000 (inc. GST) per school.
The Young Carer Project is a set price per school irrespective of the number of attendees/participants. Travel of facilitators to and from the school is not included in the cost of the program and will be supplied by Little Dreamers. Little Dreamers has a scholarship program for schools in lower socio-economic areas with a high rate of Young Carers who would like to engage in this program.