Young carers and educational engagement: Quantitative analysis of bursary applications in Australia

Health Soc Care Community. 2021 Oct 17. doi: 10.1111/hsc.13589. Online ahead of print.


Young carers support family members affected by disability or a health condition. The Young Carer Bursary Program aims to support young carers’ education. This paper analysed data from consenting bursary applicants (2017-2019) to investigate relationships between wellbeing, educational attendance, home study and other factors. Descriptive statistics, correlation and regression analysis determined significant issues, relationships and influential factors related to young carer (N = 1,443) wellbeing and education. Sixty-eight percent were aged between 13 and 18 years and attended secondary school. One third of the sample reported that they were the main carer in their family and 29% reported receiving no support. Female applicants from single parent households who were the main carer attended educational settings less often. Eighteen percent (n = 267) rated their wellbeing as poor/very poor. Better wellbeing was associated with increased educational attendance (rs = 0.33, p < 0.001) and home study (rs = 0.34, p < 0.001). Wellbeing was associated with main carer status, caring for a parent, having a disability, being older and having few supports. Educational attendance was associated with main carer status, higher care load and fewer supports. Home study was associated with having a disability, caring for a sibling, caring for more than 11 hr per week and having fewer supports. Important factors about the age, life situation and challenges experienced by young carers identified in this paper indicate that further research into preferred supports and effectiveness of the bursary in improving educational engagement is warranted.

PMID:34657333 | DOI:10.1111/hsc.13589

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