Launched today, Anglicare Sydney’s Carers: Doing it Tough, Doing it Well report raises concerns about unmet needs of carers under the NDIS. It also indicates the need for more support programs for carers of people with a disability.
The report echoes the concerns of many across the sector that carer supports will be diminished under the NDIS. Respite, highlighted in the report Give us a break! also released today by Carers NSW, is a particular concern.
“Under the NDIS, it is assumed that carers will find some respite when the needs of those with a disability are met. Unfortunately, initial feedback from the sector suggests that the needs of some carers may not be met under this new system,” states Susan King, Anglicare Advocacy and Research Manager.
“Anglicare research confirms the positive impact of existing carer support programs. Our concern is that current levels of carer supports will not be maintained under the NDIS.”
Carers NSW research gives weight to these concerns, with many carers reporting that they believe respite is a service for carers, as well as the people they care for. These findings are particularly significant as the focus of respite-type services shifts from carers to people with a disability.
Despite stress levels of carers continuing to be high, Anglicare research shows marked improvements in overall wellbeing for carers who accessed Support Coordination Programs (SCP) and Respite Options Programs (ROP) – programs which will close as funds are directed to the NDIS.
Drawing on survey results collected over six years, the report found:
- An increase in Personal Wellbeing Index scores for carers who accessed the programs from a low of 58.1 out of 100 to 63.9 compared with 75 for the average population
- A reduction in the proportion of carers who agreed that they needed time out from their caring role (59% to 51%)
- Increase access to a range of services including case management (+60%), transition planning for their care recipient (+50%), assistance to increase carer’s social contacts (+46%), and assistance for the care recipient to pursue their goals and interests (+32%)
“We welcome carer initiatives from the Department of Social Services like the Integrated Carer Support Service (ICSS) and the Carer Gateway. We will continue to recommend a care coordinator to provide one-on-one, holistic assistance to carers under the new system,” says Ms King.
Other Anglicare recommendations include:
- Access and options to take up flexible respite services as part of the services available through the Integrated Carer Support Service
- Funding for social support programs specifically designed to support carers in their care giving role
- Access and options to take up support with emergency planning, registration, as well as reasonable and necessary services to implement the plan
- Education, information and awareness components of the Integrated Plan for Carer Support Services and the Local Area Coordinators in the NDIS include accessible information for carers regarding their involvement in the participant’s planning and their opportunity to provide a Carer’s Statement.
Download Carers: Doing it Tough, Doing it Well Report 2016
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