In recognition of the need to support and sustain the vital work of unpaid carers, in 2015 the Australian Government committed $33.7 million over four years to design a new way of funding and delivering services called the Integrated Plan for Carer Support Services (The Plan). The Plan is being developed to reflect the Australian Government’s priorities for carers, and outlines actions to improve access to information and services specifically for carers.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) has been working with the sector and carers to co-design a service model which will provide more services to more carers, with the aim to reach carers earlier in their caring journey in order to sustain them by providing supports that build their capacity, reduce strain, enable increased participation in education and the workforce and ultimately improve wellbeing.
As the first step in delivering the Integrated Plan for Carer Support Services, the Carer Gateway, commenced in December 2015, and was developed specifically for carers, to help them access practical information and advice and connect with services in their local area.
Stage two of the Plan focused on an extensive two year process to design a proposed new carer service system with the carer sector and carers, and included public consultation.
- From October 2018, new digital services for carers will be rolled out through the Carer Gateway.
- From September 2019, the Government will establish a new network of Regional Delivery Partners across Australia to deliver and/or coordinate local and targeted services.