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Working is Good for You!

“The Government is looking for innovative ideas from employers on how we can improve outcomes for people with disability,” said the Hon Jane Prentice MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, in a press release on 3rd March 2017. Being young carer-focussed, this statement prompted me to think about how this would affect young carers as well as how employment and money management relates to young carers.

Naturally, if one member of the family is doing well, then this has a flow on effect to strengthen the family unit holistically. After an in-depth discussion with the Australian Network on Disability (AND) and public feedback in response to a Disability Employment Services (DES) discussion paper released in November 2016, Mrs Prentice said that “a new and improved DES to ensure people with disability find work and stay in jobs longer” is coming in 2018. Which is great news for families caring for someone with a disability!

Young Carers WA holds workshops using the Resilience Doughnut, a strengths based model in which 7 key areas are identified which increase the amount of resilience a child has, to face the challenges that they come across. Three key areas are needed for resilience to be considered strong and one of these areas is money. Considering that many Caring families find money one of their challenges, it might be surprising to know that this doesn’t always mean that young carers score low in this area. Even though financial stability obviously impacts well on young carers – not needing to worry about school fees, excursions and uniforms - it is also about the child’s attitude towards money.

Money is a strong factor of resilience for a young carer when they, to roughly quote Lyn Worsley who created the Resilience Doughnut, “develop a sense of struggle with regard to money.” Being able to make the connection between giving and taking when it comes to money strengthens this area. To give here means to contribute something, to be responsible and to take means to have self-discipline with money. For example, after coming along to the Young Carers WA Wake Boarding event in January 2017, one young carer’s Mum said he “has a goal to save to go again.”

Even if saving money isn’t a young carer’s forte, there’s still good news because money management, like any skill, can be learned. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has a great, free online program called Money Smart Rookie . Remember, if your family is wondering where to find money for a particular expense, Carers WA’s Advisory Department is only a phone call away on 1300 227 377 and can help point your parents in the right direction.

Wondering what the other 6 factors of the Resilience Doughnut are? You’ll need to come along to one of our workshops!