The Australian Government is rolling out a range of new early-intervention 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 you get the support you need before reaching crisis point.
New services to give you support and skills
New services are currently being designed and tested with carers. From July 2019, you will be able to get:
- Peer support to assist you 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.
- A new phone-based counselling service to provide short term emotional and psychological support.
- Practical skills courses to improve your general skills and knowledge are being gradually rolled out. You can explore the first two modules, Dealing with stress, and Effective communication techniques now on http://www.carergateway.gov.au.
New local service delivery
From September 2019, carers will be able to access support and services through a new network of Carer Gateway service providers including:
- Carer support planning – to help you identify what areas of support will best help you in your 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 your service providers and might be a:
- one-off practical support in the form equipment or item to assist in your caring role
- 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 you can meet with people in similar caring situations and share your stories, knowledge and experience.
- In-person coaching – where you can work one-on-one with a qualified coach to gain skills and resilience to help you as a carer. You can reflect on how you are going, how you would like things to be, and how you might take steps towards making things happen.
- Emergency respite care – to make sure the person you care for will be looked after if an urgent or unplanned event stops you from being there.
What do I need to do now?
You do not need to do anything now.
When the new online services start from July 2019 we encourage you to access these services through the Carer Gateway website: www.carergateway.gov.au.
You can continue to access existing services, including counselling, information and advice, and emergency respite through your usual service providers until the new Carer Gateway service providers commence in late September 2019.
Current services are funded until 30 November 2019 so you will have time to move from your current service provider to your new Carer Gateway service provider.
These changes to carer services do not affect any state or territory carer services you may be receiving, young carer bursaries or other services delivered through My Aged Care or the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Why are these 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 delivery 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.