Care finder program

The care finder program delivers a national, face-to-face network of care finders. It provides support for vulnerable older people to interact with My Aged Care, access aged care services and access other relevant supports in the community.

About the program

We are funding a workforce of care finders to provide face-to-face support to help people navigate and access aged care.

The program is in response to a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Care finders will complement the 3 My Aged Care channels:

  1. My Aged Care online
  2. the contact centre
  3. Aged Care Specialist Officers. 

Care finders will: 

  • help people understand and access aged care and connect with other relevant supports in their community, 
  • target people who have one or more reasons for requiring support to interact with My Aged Care and access aged care services and other relevant community supports.

The Aged Care System Navigator Trials informed the program.

Why is it important

Some older Australians need extra support to navigate the aged care system and use My Aged Care channels because of:

  • communication and language barriers
  • difficulty processing information due to cognitive decline
  • reluctance to engage with a need for support
  • reluctance to engage with government services.

The care finder program offers tailored, intensive support and will improve:

  • outcomes for people in the care finder target population
  • integration between the health, aged care and other systems at the local level in the context of the care finder program.  

Who it is for

The care finder program targets older Australians who are eligible for aged care services and have one or more reasons for requiring intensive support to: 

  • interact with My Aged Care
  • access aged care services
  • access other relevant supports in the community.

This includes people who are, or are not yet, receiving aged care services or other relevant supports.

Care finders support people who don’t have family, friends, a carer or a representative they are comfortable receiving help from and who is willing and able to help them access aged care services and supports. 

Goals

The program aims to improve outcomes for people in the care finder target population, including:

  • improved
    • coordination of support when seeking to access aged care 
    • understanding of aged care services and how to access them 
    • openness to engage with the aged care system
  • increased
    • care finder workforce capability to meet client needs 
    • rates of access to aged care services and connections with other relevant supports 
    • rates of staying connected to the services they need post service commencement.

The program also works to improve the integration between health, aged care and other systems at the local level.

Who we work with

Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are responsible for commissioning and managing care finder services, leveraging their commissioning expertise and in-depth understanding of local community needs.

PHNs are independent, not-for-profit, regionally based organisations, with responsibility for working with local communities, clinicians, service providers and state and local governments to identify and prioritise the health care needs of the population in their region. They commission services to meet the prioritised health care needs of their communities. 

Care finder organisations have been commissioned by PHNs and have demonstrated local community connections and specialist skills and experience supporting people in the target population. 

A list of care finder organisations is available on the My Aged Care website

Meeting our goals

An independent evaluator (Australian Healthcare Associates) is managing ongoing evaluation of the care finder program. The evaluation will assess the program’s implementation, appropriateness and effectiveness. 

Findings from the evaluation will support continuous improvement of the program.

Status

Care finder service delivery began 3 January 2023 with a ramp-up period until April 2023 for organisations that need to recruit new staff to deliver the service.

The evaluation of the design and implementation of the care finder program has begun.

Find out more

Last updated:

Help us improve health.gov.au

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.