2020 Young Carer Policy Forum

Time is running out to book your tickets to the 2020 Young Carer Policy Forum!

To be held at the National Press Club on the 24th of March, the 2020 Young Carer Policy Forum will bring together academics, young carers and their advocates, service providers, and public policy makers to explore the needs of young carers and the current gaps in the support they need.

Carers Australia will be launching new, in-depth findings on young carers’ experience in secondary and tertiary education. The forum will also explore the current definition of young carers and look more broadly at the nature of the supports needed beyond those currently available.

The event will enable researchers, service providers and policy makers to deliver innovative research, recommendations, and strategies applicable to policy and sector work.


Sleep study survey

Carers Australia has commissioned the Sleep Health Foundation and the Central Queensland University to conduct a further study into how being a carer impacts sleep. The study will look at what strategies are currently being used to improve sleep health, and provide recommendations on how unpaid carers can improve their sleep.

You can participate in the study by completing a short survey about your sleeping habits and what strategies you use to get a good night’s rest. The results of this survey will form a key part of the study’s recommendations and outcomes.


Early childhood information

Carers Australia has worked with Playgroup Australia and the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre to develop information and resources for parents and families of children with a disability or medical condition, including how to:

• understand and get the most from the NDIS
• manage everyday challenges
• manage uncertainty and grief
• look after yourself
• find resources and useful tools
• find and use early childhood and mainstream services.


Better Start is closing soon

Better Start is closing soon and is no longer taking new registrations. Families with a young child with a disability should contact their local NDIS ECEI Partner for information on early childhood supports. Many families have already had their child assessed and have an NDIS plan in place.

It is important that families who are receiving Better Start funding and have not already registered for an NDIS assessment do so as soon as possible. You can initiate an access request by calling 1800 800 110.

For more information on the NDIS, Early Childhood Early Invention and other carer supports call the Carers Advisory Hotline on 1800 242 636.


National Disability Scheme set for overhaul

An independent review into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has provided 29 recommendations aimed at cutting wait times, improving services and making plans amendable.

The review, whose results were released late last month, also called for more flexibility in the use of NDIS funds and to clarify access for people with a psycho-social disability. Longer plans for participants, enabling them to be covered for up to three years without a review, should also be adopted. 

“The review’s findings reaffirmed what we have been hearing from participants, their families and carers and the disability sector,” said NDIS Minister Stuart Robert, who stated that the Federal government would use the findings to “update and clarify” the legislation and remove barriers to the NDIS.


Increased empathy in young carers

A new joint study from Tel Aviv University and the University of Haifa has found that relationships between children and their siblings with intellectual disabilities are more positive than those between typically developing siblings.

The research looked at 60 children, half with typically developing siblings and half with intellectually disabled siblings, and assessed their relationship with their siblings through drawings and a questionnaire. They also interviewed the mothers of the children to gauge the sibling relationship quality.

“We found that children with siblings with intellectual disabilities scored higher on empathy, teaching and closeness and scored lower on conflict and rivalry than those with typically developing siblings,” said Professor Anat Zaidman-Zait.

“Having a child with a disability in a family places demands on all family members…but [these demands] are often accompanied by short- and long-term positive contributions.”


Coronavirus fact sheets

The Department of Health has prepared a number of fact sheets to assist in the control of the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

They contain facts about the coronavirus, home isolation and care, information for aged care residents and families, information for parents of school aged children and information for travellers who have been in China.

The fact sheets are available in English and simplified Chinese. They will be updated as new information is available and can be found here.

bottom left bottom right