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Delivering emergency respite support for carers



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Delivering emergency respite support for carers 25 May 2012

An independent evaluation of the Australian Government’s $8.8 million Respite Support for Carers of Young People with Severe or Profound Disability has found the program is well targeted and is making a real difference in the lives of carers and their families.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas said the review by ARTD Consultants assessed the effectiveness of the program over three years from 2008.

“The Respite Support for Carers of Young People with Severe or Profound Disability program provides short-term, emergency respite for carers whose needs are not being met through existing state or territory initiatives,” Senator McLucas said.

“The evaluation found the program is reaching its target group, with about 6,700 carers accessing short-term, emergency respite in 2010-11.

“Most of the carers, care recipients and their families said the support they received gave them time to do other things they needed to do, including take some time to look after themselves.

One carer who took part in the evaluation said it gave them the opportunity to ‘have time out every now again from the very stressful environment that we are living in.’

“Through their hard work and sacrifice, carers greatly improve the quality of life of millions of people across the nation,” Senator McLucas said.

“Last year, we launched our National Carer Strategy, which takes a national approach to better respond to the needs of carers, and will help to ensure carers have the same rights, choices and opportunities as other Australians.

“But we know the disability support system today is not delivering the kind of care and support Australians expect for people with a disability, their families and carers.

“That’s why we have announced the Australian Government is investing $1 billion for the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme, which will give people with disabilities their families and carers, control and choice over how they access services and supports.

“We are working hard to progress the critical design and development work needed for a National Disability Insurance Scheme from mid next year, and the findings of this evaluation will help inform our work.”

For more information about the Respite Support for Carers of Young People with Severe or Profound Disability program go to: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/our-responsibilities/disability-and-carers/program-services/respite-and-support/respite-support-for-carers-of-young-people-with-severe-or-profound-disability-program