The nature and prevalence of kinship care: Focus on young kinship carers

Meredith Kiraly, David Hoadley, Cathy Humphreys - Child & Family Social Work


Young kinship carers tend to be overlooked in kinship care policy and practice. This Australian research project explored the prevalence of kinship care households in Australia, with a particular focus on households headed by young kinship carers. Census data were utilized to explore the number of kinship care households across the carer age spectrum and some of their characteristics, including households with Indigenous carers and carers with a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) identity. Characteristics of households headed by carers aged 16–30 years were explored in some detail, and comparisons made with young parents. The data pointed to particular challenges for young kinship carers in relation to post‐secondary education, employment and income security. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.