There are 904,400 carers living in NSW. This means that at least 1 in 10 of us is a carer in NSW.
The NSW Government’s vision for the carers in NSW is that they are supported to participate fully in their own social and economic life. We want them to be healthy and live well. Read on to learn about some of the ways we’re making this happen.
Carers provide regular support to people who need it because they have disability, chronic illness, mental illness, dementia or are frail aged. People are also carers if they are looking after a child who has additional longer-term needs compared to a child of a similar age.
A carer is not paid to care, although they may receive a pension or allowance for their caring role. Carers can balance caring with employment, school and/or have other commitments at the time they take on the role of caring.
People of all ages can be a carer, including:
- an older person caring for a child with disability who has grown up
- a child or young person caring for a parent with disability
- a parent caring for a child with disability
- a relative or friend caring for an older person.
See our Young carers page for information about how FACS is helping young people who are carers.
The Carers Strategy
The Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) is the lead agency for carers in NSW and has led development of the NSW Carers Strategy (the Strategy), with assistance from the Ministry for Health and Carers NSW. FACS brought hundreds of peoples’ ideas together through collaborative workshops, the NSW Ministerial Carers Strategy Summit and Have Your Say online consultation.
Laurel Lambert is a 2015 Highly Commended NSW Carers Award recipient who has cared for her adult daughter since she was born. She talks about the pride associated with being a carer.
The Australian Government has launched a service for people who care for someone with a disability, chronic illness, dementia, mental illness, or who are frail due to age. Carer Gateway will make it easier for carers to find information, advice and services, with targeted sections for young carers, older carers, working carers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers and culturally and linguistically diverse carers. For more information visit www.carergateway.gov.au.
Carers Investment Program
The Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) is providing $5.6m over three years for projects that will improve the well-being of carers in NSW. The Carer Investment Program has evolved from the current Carer Grants program. The new Carer Investment Program will see FACS continue to invest $1.86m per annum in projects to improve support for carers. Funding will focus on projects with evidence-based outcomes and those that align with carer priorities as identified in the NSW Carers Strategy 2014-19, the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 and other relevant reforms in the sector.
A two stage procurement process conducted in 2017/18 has now been finalised, with
. 14 innovative carer projects to receive funding, selected from a competitive field of 128 proposals.
Organisations and projects funded through the Carers Investment Program commencing 1 July 2018 are:
Carer Peer Connect (Statewide)
A multicomponent project to build capacity for online carer peer support.
A project that will support carers to re-enter the workforce, leveraging existing resources and networks.
Helping young carers to obtain their provisional drivers licence – combining mentoring and driving lessons.
Catholic Care Wollongong
SIBS - Deadly (Illawarra/Shoalhaven)
Increasing the reach of a successful siblings program in the Aboriginal community.
Central Coast Local Health District
Paving the way for informed and effective partnership with carers for Hospital in the Home (Central Coast)
This project will develop and pilot a carer-inclusive model of care for the Hospital in the Home program.
Conservation Volunteers Australia
Green Gym (Western Sydney and Far North Coast)
Peer support though community gardening programs.
Virtual Reality Experience for Carers of People Living Dementia (Statewide)
Training for carers of people with dementia using virtual reality technology.
Mid Coast Communities Incorporated
NDIS rollout impact on regional carers (Mid-North Coast)
A local research project to assess the impact of the NDIS on carers.
Multicultural Weavers Project (Sydney Region)
Pilot of the Weavers carer peer support model with CALD carers.
Medicinewise Carers Project (Statewide)
Targeting information on the widely used MedicineWise app specifically for carers.
TAFE NSW - Community Services and Health
Upskilling Carers (Statewide)
This project will develop a customisable assessment tool for carers to identify their current skills and career goals, and link them with a point of contact in TAFE.
University of South Australia – Institute for Choice
’s in the balance….exploring NSW carers’ career-to-care goals (Statewide)
A research project to increase carers’ opportunities to participate in paid work through better understanding of the choices and trade-offs they make.
University of Technology Sydney - Institute for Public Policy and Governance
Centre for Carers Research (Statewide)
Establishment of a Centre for Carers Research at UTS.
Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre Aboriginal Corporation
Caring - is what we do (Murrumbidgee - Deniliquin)
Innovative place-based supports for Aboriginal carers that will produce evidence and tools that can be adapted in other communities.
Further information and contacts details for these projects will be available on this website soon. FACS contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background to the NSW Carers Strategy
5 priority areas were identified through extensive consultation with carers and other stakeholders:
- Employment and Education
- Carer health and wellbeing
- Information and community awareness
- Carer engagement
- Improving the evidence base.
The specific needs of carers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal carers, carers living in rural and remote areas, young carers and older carers have been considered during the Strategy's development.
We have worked collaboratively with other organisations, including through a Project Management Group comprising internal and external stakeholders. Read more about our Carers Strategy Project Management Group. We will continue to work collaboratively as we implement the Strategy.
The background paper was the starting point for discussion.