Liberal National Government announces $493 million grant round to fund local services for carers

The Liberal National Government will provide $493 million to community and not-for-profit organisations to establish a new range of services to benefit the physical and mental health and wellbeing of Australia’s unpaid carers.

These grants will shift the focus of support for carers from the current crisis-driven approach to a new early-intervention model with the mental and physical health of the carer in focus.

Applications open tomorrow and close at 5PM (AEDT) on 14 February 2019. Successful applicants will receive funding from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2024.

From September 2019, services to carers will be administered through a new network of Carer Gateway regional delivery partners providing services including;

  • needs assessment and planning
  • targeted financial support packages with a focus on supporting participation in employment and education
  • in-person and phone-based coaching, counselling and peer support
  • information and advice
  • access to emergency crisis support
  • assistance with navigating relevant, local services available to carers through federal, state and local government and non-government providers, including the National Disability Insurance Scheme, My Aged Care and palliative care.

Federal Minister for Families and Social Services the Hon Paul Fletcher MP said, “getting support early can make a big difference to a carer’s life, helping to reduce emotional or physical strain, improve wellbeing, help carers to stay in work or study, and assist them to plan for the future.”

“There are 2.7 million unpaid carers in Australia supporting our families and loved ones. Encouraging carers to get help early before reaching a crisis point will ultimately result in the best outcome for both the carer and the person they are caring for,” Mr Fletcher said.

Assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services, Sarah Henderson is encouraging service providers to find out how to get involved in this important initiative by visiting the Australian Government Community Grants Hub and Grant Connect website as early as possible.

“A key focus for service providers will be to demonstrate their experience and ability to deliver tailored and targeted local support for carers such as counselling, coaching and financial support packages,” Ms Henderson said.

This new Integrated Carer Support Service initiative announced earlier this year was developed through an extensive two-year consultation period with carers and the carer sector and represents the biggest reform for carer services in over a decade.

To apply for the grant, visit communitygrants.gov.au or call 1800 020 283.