Living Longer. Living Better.

Supporting Carers

Page last updated: 07 May 2012

Streamlining and expanding support for carers ($54.8 million)

The Gillard Government understands the pivotal role that carers play in providing quality support to older Australians. Carers provide most of the care received by older Australians. Like any member of the workforce, these carers sometimes need to take a break and need to take care of themselves.

The Government already provides support for carers through a number of strategies. These include the National Respite for Carers Program and the National Carer Recognition Framework.

Through the aged care reform package, the Government will make it easier for carers to access respite and other carer support services when they need them. The Government will:
  • expand access to respite services
  • increase funding for carer counselling
  • streamline funding arrangements for respite care
  • provide carers with more choice and flexibility in the services they use.
These improvements will be delivered through:
  • providing increased funding for respite services and counselling supported under the National Respite for Carers Program from 1 July 2012
  • consolidating respite programs from 1 July 2014
  • establishing a regional network of carer support centres from 1 July 2014
  • further work to explore new models for carers to have greater choice in how they use their service entitlements
  • incorporating the National Respite for Carers Program
  • into the Commonwealth Home Support program from
  • 1 July 2015 with real funding growth each year.
These initiatives deliver on the Government’s election commitment to streamline respite arrangements and on its commitment under the National Carer Strategy.

Carers play a vital role in our community, but many of us do not realise the enormous contribution that they make to Australian society, or fully appreciate the challenges that they face every day.

The National Carer Strategy – the second element of the Australian Government’s National Carer Recognition Framework, along with the Carer Recognition Act 2010 – strengthens our commitment to recognise and respond to the needs of carers so that they have rights, choices, opportunities and capabilities to participate in economic, social and community life.

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