Local Government Supporting Carers
It is estimated there are over 700,000 unpaid carers living in Victorian communities (around 1 in 9 Victorians). Carers can be found across a wide range of ages with some carers aged under 10 and others in their 90’s. They come from all walks of life; they can be family members, friends or neighbours. Carers provide much needed assistance and emotional support to the people they care for, providing help with physical tasks, healthcare (administering medication and managing appointments), education, recreation, transport and property maintenance. They also provide emotional, social and communication support. It is estimated that the annual cost of replacing the support provided by Victorian carers is around $15 billion.
Victorian councils can provide support to carers through a range of initiatives including support programs, providing spaces to meet as well as directly supporting the work of Neighbourhood Houses and carers groups. Some councils have established policies to guide the support provided to staff members who have care responsibilities and to guide council’s support to carers and carers groups in the community.
Councils also support carers through the use of companion and carer cards with a range of discounts made available at council facilities and events.
Carers Recognition Act 2012
The Carers Recognition Act 2012 (the Act) formally recognises and values the role of carers and the importance of care relationships in the Victorian community. The Act has implications for council departments providing support or services to people being cared for or providing care; human resources managers responsible for staff training; and managers of council services or facilities where council staff might interact with people being cared for and their carers.
Local Government Supporting Carers July 2022 Forum
This forum included the launch of the MAV Local Government Supporting Carers Resource Guide 2022 (see below); the launch of the Carers Victoria Local Government Carer Friendly Online Training Module; Macedon Ranges Shire projects, including Village Connect; and carer reflections from The Cities of Knox and Moonee Valley.
This Victorian Local Government Supporting Carers Resource Guide has been designed to assist Victorian councils in supporting carers, showcasing the broad range of policies and activities that councils have established to achieve this. It can be used to generate discussion within council around future directions in supporting carers.
The MAV Local Government Supporting Carers Report includes results from a desktop review of council websites and council survey responses from April/May 2021. It provides a snapshot of policy and programs councils deliver to support carers in their municipality.
The MAV, in partnership with Carers Victoria, held an online forum in late 2021 looking at ways councils were supporting carers as we moved out of COVID restrictions. Presentations from the session will be available soon.
- Local Government Supporting Carers as we move to COVID Normal (Available soon)
- Carers Victoria - The state-wide voice for family carers, representing and providing support to carers in Victoria. Their website includes details of local carer support groups, resources and Events. It also includes access to a local government specific online training module.
- Carer Gateway - practical advice and resources for carers.