The Australian Government is rolling out a range of new early-intervention Carer Support Services and supports for carers in late 2019. These new services have been designed based on evidence that shows the best way to help carers is to help them early in their caring role, increase their skills and reduce the strain of caring. These new services can help carers get the support they need before reaching crisis point.
New Carer Support Services to give carers better support and skills
Carers can now access new online services:
- Peer support – to assist carers to connect with and learn from other carers. This online community forum will help carers share their stories, knowledge and experience with others.
- Self-guided coaching – to support and teach you skills useful to your caring situation. The coaching modules will cover a range of topics and can be completed at your own pace online.
- Counselling service – a new phone-based counselling service to provide short term emotional and psychological support.
- Practical skills courses – to improve carers’ general skills and knowledge are being gradually rolled out. You can explore the first module, Dealing with stress now on www.carergateway.gov.au.
New local service delivery
Once established, a network of new Carer Gateway service providers will help carers access new and improved local and targeted servicing, including:
- Carer support planning – to help carers identify what areas of support will best help them in their caring role and to develop a simple plan for ongoing support and service.
- Tailored financial packages – to give carers practical assistance. The packages will be arranged by service providers and might be either one-off practical support in the form of equipment or an item to assist in your caring role or a range of ongoing practical supports, such as respite or transport, provided over a twelve-month period.
- In-person counselling – for one-on-one support with a professional counsellor if you feel stressed or overwhelmed.
- In-person peer support – where carers can meet with people in similar caring situations and share stories, knowledge and experience.
- In-person coaching – where carers can work one-on-one with a qualified coach to gain skills and resilience to help them as a carer. Carers can reflect on how they are going,
how they would like things to be, and how they might take steps towards making things happen.
- Emergency respite care – to make sure the person they care for will be looked after if an urgent or unplanned event stops them from being there.
What do I need to do now?
We encourage carers to access the new online services through the Carer Gateway website: www.carergateway.gov.au.
Carers can continue to access existing services, including counselling, information and advice, and emergency respite through their usual service providers until the new Carer Gateway service providers commence. These changes to carer services do not affect any state or territory carer services carers may be receiving, young carer bursaries or other services delivered through My Aged Care or the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Why are these Carer Support Services changing?
To improve support for carers, the government has undertaken research and engaged with stakeholders over 2 years to re-design services. This has resulted in the development of the Integrated Carer Support Service model. Improvements includes the introduction of new early-intervention services and a new service deliver model that will provide carers with a support system that is easy to navigate and provides a consistent experience across the country.
For more information about services for carers you can contact Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 or visit the website (www.carergateway.gov.au). Carer Gateway provides a range of information that can help carers in their role, from practical advice and resources, to help finding support services.