Support for Carers

Transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

Funding for the following programs is transitioning to the NDIS:

  • Mental Health Respite: Carer Support (MHR:CS);
  • Respite Support for Carers of Young People with Severe or Profound Disability (RSCYP); and
  • Young Carers Respite and Information Services (YCRISP).

As the NDIS reaches full scheme, and as the Carer Gateway regional delivery partners are established, these programs will be progressively closed down. Find out more about carer support in the NDIS.

Mental Health Respite: Carer Support (MHR:CS)

The MHR:CS program assists carers and their families to continue in their caring roles, improve their health and wellbeing and participate socially and economically in the community.

MHR:CS clients care for people with severe mental illness, an autism disorder or an intellectual disability. MHR:CS provides relief from the caring role through:

  • in-home or out-of-home respite or social and recreational activities
  • carer support, including counselling
  • practical assistance
  • social inclusion activities
  • case management and
  • education, information and access including community mental health promotion.

Respite Support for Carers of Young People with Severe or Profound Disability (RSCYP)

RSCYP provides immediate and short-term respite for carers of young people with a severe or profound disability whose needs are not being met through existing state or territory government initiatives.

RSCYP benefits carers of people under 30 years of age and those experiencing significant stress in caring for a person with a disability under 65 years of age.

Young Carers Respite and Information Services (YCRISP)

YCRISP provides one-off assistance to students with a significant caring role who need support to complete their secondary education or vocational equivalent due to the demands of their caring role.

YCRISP has two components:

  • Respite and education support services – assists students up to and including 18 years of age with a significant caring role to access respite and age appropriate educational support. These services are delivered by the national network of 54 Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres (CRCCs).
  • Information, referral and advice services – supports students with a significant caring role up to and including 25 years of age with information, advice and referral services, including referral to counselling. These services are delivered by Carers Australia and the network of state and territory Carers Associations.

The respite component of YCRISP funding is transitioning to the NDIS.

In the NDIS

Carers and young carers can continue to access respite supports as part of the NDIS participants plan. This can be either directly through short-term accommodation options or indirectly through personal care supports provided in the participant’s home or other community based participation and capacity building supports.

It's important the person you care for receiving respite services under the MHR:CS, RSCYP or YCRISP program tests their eligibility for the NDIS as it comes into place in your location. To start the process, find out how to apply and contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110 or talk to your support worker or provider who can also assist you.

People with severe mental illness, an autism disorder or an intellectual disability, who meet NDIS access requirements, will be able to participate in the NDIS in the same way as people with other severe and permanent disabilities.

Once an eligible NDIS participant has an approved plan in place, carer needs are considered as part of the NDIS participant’s planning process.

Find out more about how families and carers are supported in the NDIS.

Find out more about mental health and the NDIS.

New services for carers

The Australian Government is investing in a new range of early-intervention supports and services for carers as part of the Integrated Carer Support Service model.

The Integrated Carer Support Service (ICSS) will introduce a range of new, expanded and improved supports and services, and represents a fundamental shift from the current crisis-driven system. The ICSS focuses on tailored early intervention and prevention support for carers to increase their skills, reduce stress and help them plan for the future. These new services are being rolled out in two phases.

  1. New digital services for carers are currently being rolled out through the Australian Government’s Carer Gateway website, including:
    • digital 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.
  2. From April 2020, carers will be able to access local support and services through a new network of Carer Gateway service providers. Local services will include:
    • needs assessment and planning
    • targeted financial support packages with a focus on supporting participation in employment and education
    • in-person and phone-based 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 NDIS, My Aged Care and palliative care.

Continuity of Support

Existing MHR:CS, RSCYP and YCRISP service providers will be funded until 31 May 2020 to ensure carers have support during the important transition to the new Carer Gateway service providers.

Existing MHR:CS, RSCYP and YCRISP clients, who care for someone who is ineligible for the NDIS will be able to access support through the Carer Gateway service providers from April 2020. If the person they care for has an NDIS plan, the carer can access support and planned respite through the participants plan.

For more information about accessing respite services, phone the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222.

For providers

MHR:CS, RSCYP and YCRISP providers can guide clients through the transition to the NDIS, and it is important you encourage your clients to seek access for the person they care for to the NDIS in their area.

Providers are encouraged to register as providers in the NDIS.

MHR:CS Providers

Supports currently provided under the MHR:CS program are not directly replicated in the NDIS. They may take the form of different supports or services, depending on the needs and decisions of each NDIS participant.

The following services form part of the NDIS product catalogue and may be of interest to MHR:CS providers:

  • assistance in coordinating or managing life stages, transitions and supports, including Specialist Support Coordination
  • assistance with daily-life tasks in a group or shared living arrangement
  • development of daily-living and life skills
  • participation in community, social and civic activities.

The Government has committed to ensuring providers maintain adequate funding through to transition to support their clients transitioning to the NDIS.

Download and share stories and resources

The following stories and resources help to explain the types of supports available for carers and for people experiencing psychosocial disability under the NDIS.

Last updated: