New services for carers – how it affects you
The Australian Government is replacing current services with a range of new early-intervention services for carers in coming months.
These new supports 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.
From July: you will find phone and online services by calling just one number, or visiting one website called the Carer Gateway.
From September: Carer Gateway will introduce new in-person services using local providers, such as Carer Support.
By November: many of Carer Support's current carer services will be replaced by the new Carer Gateway services.
New phone and online services to give you support and skills
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.
New in-person services from local providers
From September 2019, you will be able to access support and services through a new network of Carer Gateway regional service providers.
There will be two providers in South Australia, one for Adelaide and one for the rest of the state.
These local providers will support you with:
- 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.
- Assistance with navigating federal, state and local government and non-government schemes, including the NDIS, My Aged Care and palliative care.
- Tailored financial packages — either a one-off payment for an item to assist in your caring role, or ongoing practical help, such as respite or transport, 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.
Moving to the new services
When the new online services start from July 2019 you can access phone and online services through the Carer Gateway website: www.carergateway.gov.au.
Until September you will continue getting existing services, including emergency respite through Carer Support.
Between September and 30 November 2019 you may need to move from Carer Support's current services to the new Carer Gateway services.
We will let you know if anything is changing for you.
These changes do not affect any state carer services you may be receiving, young carer bursaries, Commonwealth Home Support services delivered through My Aged Care or the NDIS.
Why are these services changing?
Getting help early can make a big difference to a carer’s life. It can help reduce emotional or physical strain, stay in work or study, and ultimately improve their health and wellbeing.
The government has undertaken research and engaged with stakeholders over two years to re-design services. The new services focus on early intervention to ensure carers get the support they need before they reach crisis point, and to help sustain people in their caring role.
The government is funding financial packages valued at up to $3,000 for practical supports to help people in their caring journey. Up to 25 per cent of all financial packages will be reserved to support young carers’ continued participation in education or in the workplace. There will also be additional funding for respite.
The Australian Government’s overall investment is $550 million over the next four years to roll out these new Integrated Carer Support Services.
Of course, you can also call us on 8433 9555 if you have questions.