Mental Health Respite: Carer Support - Questions and Answers - Issue 2

Q&A Issue no. 2 (Wednesday 28 November 2012)

Q. Could you please clarify how you envisage Mental Health Respite: Carer Support operating in the HACC Regions where more than one Local Government Area is included in a Coverage Area.  Does DSS intend for these regions to have one or two centres serving the catchment area, or an outreach service covering the whole region?

A. DSS is seeking applications that provide the best possible solutions to provision of accessible services and full coverage of the targeted Local Government Areas in each Coverage Area set out in the Program Guidelines.  As detailed in the Program Guidelines, DSS may fund one or more providers in each Coverage Area. 

Q. Can I find who the current providers of services are for each Coverage Area for the Mental Health Respite: Carer Support program?

A. YesYou can access information about currently funded providers on the DSS website.

Q. Are organisations with existing TCC Mental Health Respite funding only eligible to apply if contacted directly by DSS and invited?

A. Any eligible organisations may apply for funding under the open selection process (see section 3.2 of Part C2 of the Program Guidelines).  The restricted processes are only open to those currently-funded MHR:CS providers who have been invited to apply.

Q. Is DSS seeking proposals in relation to all Local Government Areas in each of the HACC Regions listed in the Program Guidelines and Application Form or only in respect of those Local Government Areas that are specifically listed for each HACC Region?  

A. DSS is seeking organisations to provide services in the specified Local Government Areas listed in the Program Guidelines and Application Form. 

Q. Are universities eligible to apply?

A. Section 3.2 of Part C2 of the Program Guidelines lists organisations eligible to apply for MHR:CS funding.  A university is eligible to apply if its organisation is one of the types listed, for example, if the university is established through a specific piece of Commonwealth or State/Territory legislation. 

Q. Are organisations that are otherwise not an eligible organisation listed in section 3.2 of Part C2 of the Program Guidelines able to apply for funding as part of a consortium arrangement where the lead member is an eligible organisation?  For example, can government entities apply in conjunction with an organisation that is eligible?

A. State and territory government entities are not eligible to apply.  In a consortium arrangement, all consortium members must be eligible organisations as listed in section 3.2.

Q. Is the Family Mental Health Support Services a separate funding round to the Mental Health Respite: Carer Support funding round?  If so, when will this funding round open and what geographical areas will it involve?

A. Yes, Mental Health Respite: Carer Support and Family Mental Health Support Services are separate funding streams of the Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) Program.  The next selection process for Family Mental Health Support Services is planned for early 2013 and will be advertised in the media and on the DSS website.  Geographical service coverage areas will be included in the advertisement.

Q. What is the difference between the Family Mental Health Support Service objectives and the Mental Health Respite: Carer Support objectives?

A. Mental Health Respite: Carer Support provides support for carers and families of people with mental illness, to enable them to sustain their caring roles and maintain or improve their own wellbeing.  Family Mental Health Support Services provide early intervention, child-focused, family-centred support to reduce the risks or impacts of mental illness on children and young people.

Q. Are Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres (CRCCs) eligible to apply to deliver new MHR:CS services or is the call for applications directed at other community organisations?

A. Section 3.2 of Part C2 of the Program Guidelines lists organisations eligible to apply for MHR:CS funding. Organisations operating CRCCs are eligible to apply for open application processes if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Q. Are we eligible as a current provider to apply through the open process for services and does this only apply to the two LGAs in our region (which we already service) or can we apply to deliver new services in other regions?

A. Section 3.2 of Part C2 of the Program Guidelines lists organisations eligible to apply for MHR:CS funding to deliver MHR:CS in any of the Local Government Areas being targeted through the open processes.  Current MHR:CS providers that meet the eligibility criteria can apply for funding in any of the Local Government Areas listed in the Program Guidelines and the Application Form.

Q. Can you please advise whether we can use attachments to support our MHR:CS application, and whether there are any restrictions?

A. In accordance with section 3.6 of Part C2 of the Program Guidelines, Applicants should only include attachments where requested to do so. Unless special circumstances apply, the Department will not consider attachments that have not been specifically requested.

Q. Will information about which organisations were invited to apply for expanded services be made public?

A. No.  The successful organisations will be announced publicly and details of funding will be listed on the DSS website.

Q. Section 4.1 of Part C2 of the Program Guidelines states "Services funded prior to 2011–12 will continue to deliver carer support as outlined in their funding agreements. This includes assisting carers of people with intellectual disability, who may make up to 25 per cent of each service’s client base." Does the 25 per cent figure for people with an intellectual disability apply to the new funding as well as the expansion of existing services?

A. Not necessarily.  The new funding is directed at carers of people with mental illness.  Carers of people with comorbid intellectual disability and mental illness are among those carers eligible for new or expanded MHR:CS services.

Q. Section 2.1 and 4.2 of Part C2 of the Program Guidelines include the following information "The Government announced $54 million over five years to June 2016 to extend carer support to an additional 1,100 carers and families of people with mental illness." The figure of 1,100 new carers seems low in comparison to the number of carers currently receiving services.

  • does this figure include expanded services and new services or just the new services?
  • does the figure refer to 1,100 carers over the five-year period or 1,100 new carers per year?
  • is there a clear rationale for a lower figure, i.e. because of an intentional targeting of carers/ families who need more intensive and comprehensive packages?

A. It is expected that new and expanded services will be providing support to an additional 1,100 carers in total at any given time.  Based on applications, service targets will be set out in funding agreements with providers. 

Q. Which areas are included in the geographical location of Mount Isa?

A. As indicated in section 3.1 of Part C2 of the Program Guidelines, the Northern Qld (Mt Isa) site covers the entire Mount Isa Local Government Area (LGA).  Maps of LGAs are available through the Australian Local Government Association website.

Q. Are Applicants required to provide their two most recent audited financial statements with the Application Form?  Does this requirement apply even if an Applicant is exempt from having to prepare audited accounts and a Cash Flow Statement under section 292(2) of the Corporations Act.  Would it be adequate to provide a copy of financial statements that have not been audited?

A. If you are unable to provide any of the information listed you should tick the ‘No’ box and provide the reason in the text box provided.  Organisations are not required to provide these documents with their applications, but may be asked to provide them at a later date. 

Q. Can you please confirm if applicants selected to provide services for the MHR:CS are expected to provide all the three types of support services outlined on page 7 of Part C2, or do you expect there to be more than one provider per area? The three types of support services listed are:

  • Relief from the caring role;
  • Carer support; and
  • Education, information and access.

A. As stated in section 2.1 of Part C2 of the Program Guidelines, new MHR:CS providers are required to deliver services from all the three service types listed in the Program Guidelines . The new services will focus on improving access for carers to a broader range of carer support services (see page 8).  DSS may fund one or more providers in each Coverage Area.

Content Updated: 28 March 2014