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One in 10 Aussie kids care for someone with a disability or drug dependence – they need help at school

Community-based family services Caregivers Educational achievement High school students Student support Youth Australia

Children who care for a family member with a disability, mental illness or dependence on alcohol or other drugs are less likely to complete, or do well in, secondary school compared with young people without caring responsibilities.

Our study, published in the journal Child Indicators Research, compared the levels of school engagement among children who identified as carers with children who didn’t shoulder such responsibilities.

We measured levels of school engagement by asking how often children felt positive emotions, such as being happy and safe, towards school.

In a national school-based survey of 5,220 Australian children aged 8-14, more than 450 respondents (9% of the sample) indicated they were looking after a family member with a disability or another serious health issue.

More than half of these young carers had responsibilities for a family member with a mental illness or dependence on alcohol or other drugs.

Read the full article on The Conversation.

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