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Legal recognition of carers

The NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 (the Act) was introduced to formally recognise the significant contribution carers make to the people they care for and the community, by enacting the NSW Carers Charter and establishing the Carers Advisory Council.

The Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) is leading implementation of the Act in NSW.

About the Act

NSW Carers Charter

The NSW Carers Charter includes 13 principles that affirm the valuable contribution that carers make and provides guidance on issues of significance for carers.

The revised NSW Carers Charter groups principles into four key areas:

  1. Carers make a valuable contribution to the community
  2. Carers’ health and well-being is important
  3. Carers are diverse and have individual needs within and beyond their caring role
  4. Carers are partners in care

The Charter is set out in Schedule 1 of the Act.

Carers Advisory Council

The Act establishes the NSW Carers Advisory Council to promote the interests of carers. The Council also reviews and makes recommendations to Ministers on relevant issues affecting carers.

Obligations of public sector agencies

The Act requires public sector agencies, which includes government departments and local councils, to:

  • take reasonable steps to ensure that staff are aware of and understand the NSW Carers Charter,
  • consult with carers or organisations that represent carers when developing policies that impact on carers, and
  • have regard to the Carers Charter when developing  their human resource policies.

Obligations of human service agencies

The Act places additional obligations on human service agencies. These are public sector agencies that provide services directed at carers or the people they care for. In addition to their obligations as public sector agencies, human service agencies must ensure that the principles of the Carers Charter are reflected in their core work. Human service agencies are also required to report annually on their compliance with the Act.

To help agencies with their reporting obligations, an Annual Reporting Template has been developed. FACS will prepare a summary of these annual reports for the Minister for Disability Services including examples of good practice.

Resources to implement the Act

The following resources have been developed to help NSW Government agencies to implement the Act.

Two posters are available to promote the revised Carers Charter:

  1. Carers Charter (includes space for contact details)
  2. Carers Charter version (includes carer introduction)

Both posters can be downloaded and printed in A4 or A3. Alternatively, hard copy posters can be ordered by sending an email with a contact person and postal address, the poster design (1 or 2) and number of posters to NSWCarersAct@facs.nsw.gov.au.

Human service agencies can use the Annual Reporting Template to report compliance with the Act.

If you require further information about the Act please email NSWCarersAct@facs.nsw.gov.au.

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