Greater access to support groups, financial services and transport, and better identification and help for young carers are the key pillars of Victoria’s first whole-of-government strategy recognising the important role of carers.
Launched today by the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley and Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers, Gabrielle Williams, the Victorian Carer Strategy 2018–22 sets out a framework to better recognise and support carers over the next four years.
As part of this, the Andrews Labor Government will invest an additional $1.2 million for extra respite, school holiday programs and support for young carers, as well as more support for carers of people with a mental illness.
In 2015, the Australian Unity Wellbeing index found carers have the lowest wellbeing of any large group. They often ignore their own health, and are 40 per cent more likely to have a chronic health condition.
Across Victoria, more than 736,600 carers give their time, effort and love to look after a family member or friend who needs them.
In addition to the significant contribution carers make to their family and their community, the important work they do also provides a $15 billion benefit to the economy every year.
The Victorian Carer Strategy will help give carers more opportunities to be physically and mentally healthy and socially connected, and improve access to education, employment and peer led support programs.
The strategy was developed through extensive consultation with carers and a range of peak bodies and service providers.
Quote attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley
“This strategy, and our additional funding, will help our carers enjoy a better quality of life, improved health, and stay connected to their local communities.”
Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers Gabrielle Williams
“Carers have told us what they need and this important strategy means that over time, all Victorian carers have the support and services they need and want, no matter where they live, or their age.”
“We will be working with education providers to establish proactive and flexible support arrangements so young carers can continue to participate in primary, secondary and tertiary education and training.”
Quote attributable to Carers Victoria CEO Scott Walker
“Many of the priorities identified in consultations are reflected in the strategy, and we are excited about this dynamic whole-of-government approach to supporting the 736,600 unpaid family and friend Victorian carers.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020