Carer Services will be transformed this year

Carer Support CEO Peter Sparrow explains what the new Carer Gateway changes mean for carers.

South Australia will be divided into two service areas under the federal government’s new integrated system of supports and services for carers which comes into effect later this year. 

Nationally there will be 16 Carer Gateway service areas under the new model including one for metropolitan Adelaide and one for all country SA. 

From September, Regional Delivery Partners (RDPs) will deliver and coordinate local and targeted services helping carers access a range of local services such as needs assessments, targeted financial support, information and advice, tailored phone and in-person peer support, counselling and coaching, and emergency respite.

RDPs will also conduct outreach activities, and link to social, health, education, community and cultural groups, to better understand regional needs. 

There will be a new assessment and planning process using the Carers Star assessment tool, which will help carers determine the support they require. 

This new model will replace the current services funded by the federal government. 

The Carer Gateway will have a new 1800 phone number, answered by the new RDPs. However, the existing 1800 number for Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres will be available for some time into the future. 

So what does all this mean for carers?

It means a new way of accessing support and changes to the types of support services offered. There will be a more proactive and preventative approach to how and when the support is available. 

In the meantime, Carer Support will continue to deliver services to existing clients, and we will ensure you understand the changes and are supported to transition to the new service system at the end of this year. 

The Carer Support Network in SA has formed a consortium to apply for the grant funding to run the RDPs for Adelaide and South Australia. Together the four agencies involved are very well placed to be the successful bidder. We will know if we’ve been successful by May.

Carer Support recently underwent a standards review audit conducted by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency. Carer Support fully met all of the 18 required standards and received a rating one outcome. This is the best result possible. I would like to thank everyone who was involved in this audit for their time and supporting us to achieve this result.

The staff and volunteers of Carer Support must be congratulated for their work and effort, because without this happening each and every day, we would not have accomplished
these results. 

As always, I am happy to speak to anyone about any matters that you feel are important to you. 

Please look after yourself and take time for you.