In 2015 the Federal Government announced that it would introduce a new system to support carers across Australia. Since then Carers SA and many other organisations around the country have been working hard to influence the Department of Social Services (DSS) and their design of this new system. Simply put, the DSS are pulling back all of their funding provided to organisations to support carers across the country and redistributing this in a competitive grant round.
What this means for many organisations supporting carers is that they will be required to reapply for a large portion of their current funding. For Carers SA this is particularly significant and equates to 87% of its current funding. As a result the Board and Executive Management Team have been working extremely hard preparing the organisation to be able to submit the best application possible.
We have waited some time to be advised about dates of grant applications and when the new way of delivering services will begin. Only recently we were advised of the following:
• Mid November 2018- grant application process opens
• January 31, 2019- grant applications close
• September 1, 2019- new services begin to be delivered across the country
• November 30, 2019- current contracts cease allowing current providers three months from September to assist in transitioning carers currently being supported to the new system
We are aiming to coordinate carer focus groups before the submission is due with the aim of testing your views on the service delivery model so that it can inform our grant submission.
Finally this is a massive change for carers and the organisations who provide services to carers. Be assured we have been constantly reminding government that this reform comes on the back of reforms in the aged care, disability and health (state based) sectors. This is something we will not let government forget and that transition to the new system is vital and needs to be done well. We will provide more information as we receive it.