The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) annual statistical report 2016: Chapter 5 - Young carers

Caregivers Aged care Youth Education Secondary education Educational tests and measurements Standardised tests Australia
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The chapter is structured as follows. A description of the data and methods used is given first. The first analytical section of this chapter provides new evidence about the number of 14–15 year olds who care for someone who is elderly or has a disability or long-term illness; and the primary care arrangement for those who care for more than one person. We then examine the type of

help that young carers provide, the relationship between the study child and the person receiving assistance, and the socio-demographic characteristics of young carers. The final section looks at the association between carer status and NAPLAN reading and numeracy outcomes in Year 9.

Key findings

  • Almost 40% of LSAC 14-15 year olds spent some time caring for a person in their family or community who is elderly or has a health condition or disability.
  • At least one in ten 14-15 year-olds were caring for a household member, with around two-thirds of this group providing assistance with core activities including personal care, mobility and communication. 
  • The majority of 14-15 year olds who spent time providing care were helping someone who lived outside the family home. This help commonly involved assisting a classmate or helping out with chores when they visit their grandparents. 
  • While many of those providing care to someone living elsewhere did so on a weekly or monthly basis, more than half of those caring for a resident family member were providing daily care, with 22% spending more than two hours per day on these care activities.
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