Caring For Our Carers With More Respite And Support

12 September 2018

Victorian carers will be able to get the practical support they need with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to increase respite care hours and support services for carers.

More than 736,000 Victorian carers give their time, effort and love to look after a family member or friend who needs them. Carers come from all walks and stages of life – what they have in common is the emotional, financial and physical stress that caring for a loved one can involve.

One in five carers give up work to care for someone and young carers drop-out of school at a higher rate than their peers. This means carers also tend to have lower household incomes and are 40 per cent more likely to have a chronic health condition – often ignoring their own health while caring for a loved one.

The Andrews Labor Government has listened to carers to find out what practical support they need in order to develop The Victorian Carer Strategy 2018–22, which was released in July.

Only Labor will make sure carers get the help they’ve asked for with $49.5 million to fund an extra 100,000 hours of respite care each year and expanding the eligibility to include carers of people with a mental illness.

This will allow an extra 5,000 Victorians to access respite care, giving carers a break and the peace of mind that their loved one is receiving high quality care in short stay accommodation, on camps or day excursions.

Labor will also make sure carers get emotional support and information about services they can access with $4 million in grants for both grass roots and state-wide carer support groups. These grants will focus on support for carers in regional areas, as well as under-recognised groups such as young carers and LGBTI carers.

Young carers will also be able to get more help at school with a new system to be introduced in Victorian government schools to identify students who care for a parent, grand parent or sibling with a mental or physical disability, so they can get extra support to help them stay in school.

In addition, Labor will provide all Victorian carers with half price travel on public transport all year round, as well as free travel during Carers Week. The 50 per cent travel concession for carers will help to ease the cost of living and make it easier to get to appointments and stay connected with their community.

Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“For thousands of Victorians caring for a loved one is 24/7 job – and they deserve a hand. Only Labor will ensure they get the time out and practical support they need.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley

"Carers have told us what they need and only Labor will deliver it, with more respite care hours, more support services and help to ease the cost of living with half price public transport.”

Quote attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers Gabrielle Williams

“Carer support groups give people emotional support and connect them with other people dealing with the same challenges. These grants will make sure more carers can access this vital support.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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