Integrated Carer Support Service Model
As part of the 2015-2016 Budget, the Australian Government announced the development of an Integrated Plan for Carer Support Services.
Under the Integrated Carer Support Service (ICSS), carers will be introduced to a range of tailored supports and services to help them manage their daily challenges, reduce stress and plan for the future. The new services will focus on providing carers with access to early-intervention, preventative and skill building supports, to improve well-being and long-term outcomes.
New services and support for carers
The rollout of new services to benefit Australia’s unpaid carers is currently underway as part of the ICSS implementation program.
In July 2019, new digital services for carers became available through the Australian Government’s Carer Gateway website including:
- phone based counselling services to help carers manage daily challenges, reduce stress and strain, and plan for the future
- online peer support, connecting carers with other carers for knowledge and experience sharing, emotional support and mentoring
- online coaching resources with simple techniques and strategies for goal-setting and future planning
- educational resources to increase skills and knowledge of carers relating to specific caring situations, to build confidence and improve wellbeing.
These new online services were designed and tested in consultation with carers and the sector.
From April 2020, a new Australia-wide network of Carer Gateway service providers will give carers access to tailored services in their own right, no matter who they are caring for, including:
- carer needs assessment and planning
- in-person and phone-based counselling and peer support
- targeted financial support packages with a focus on supporting participation in employment and education
- 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.
A fact sheet on the Integrated Carer Support Service model provides further information for carers.
The Department of Social Services (the department) will be providing the sector with regular updates and undertaking further consultation with key stakeholders and carers as the implementation of the ICSS progresses.