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Funding extended for young carers program

Monday, 15th April, 2013

By Gayle Ball

Young carers in Broken Hill will continue to receive respite and support services, with a local service set to receive a slice of $8.2 million in extended funding.

The Australian Government last week announced the investment to extend the Young Carers Respite and Information Services Program for a year.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disability and Carers, Amanda Rishworth, said the program helps young carers stay at school and complete their education.

The program has been auspiced locally by the Broken Hill City Council for over eight years.

Respite and Carelink Coordinator Tim Gauci said there are approximately 30 Young Carers registered for the program in Broken Hill and he welcomed the funding extension.

"The funding extension will allow the Far West Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre to continue to support local Young Carers in their caring roles," Mr Gauci said.

Mr Gauci said the program provides a range of support to young carers such as access to short term and emergency respite options, assistance with tutoring and homework, help with home tasks, as well as emotional and social support.

Young Carers are children and young people, 25 years or under, who help to support a family member or friend who has a disability, mental illness, drug or alcohol dependency, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail, and are at risk of prematurely leaving school due to their caring roles.

"Caring at a young age can have a big impact on young carers, and can affect all parts of their lives," Mr Gauci said.

"However, a young carer helping with the care of a family member may also gain strength and self-esteem from the experience."

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