Carer Support Programs

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Tabled: 15 August 2012

There are approximately 700 000 informal carers in Victoria, including around
194 000 primary carers, providing unpaid care to a relative, partner or friend. Carers contribute greatly to our community, but often at a physical and emotional cost to themselves. Carers need access to effective, equitable and timely supports to help them continue in their role.

This audit examined whether the departments of Health and of Human Services effectively recognise and support carers.

The departments fund a range of carer support programs and recognise that supporting carers is core business. However, they do not treat carer support programs with the rigour that core business warrants.

The departments cannot demonstrate the timeliness or effectiveness of the carer support programs they fund because they do not monitor wait times or outcomes against program objectives. Despite demonstrated effort by the departments and service providers to promote carer supports, carers lack awareness of them. The departments have yet to attempt to understand and address why current promotion strategies are not more effective.

Carers have difficulty navigating the service system. The departments and service providers do not consistently assess, either directly or by referral, the needs of carers they interact with. This means carers who need and want support
may miss out. The equity of carer supports is compromised by inconsistent prioritisation practices and management of brokerage funds.

To facilitate carers’ access to support programs and demonstrate program effectiveness, the departments need to understand how carers find out about supports, require consistent carer identification and needs assessments and monitor wait times and outcomes against program objectives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last updated on 23/07/2013