The South Australian Government is taking steps to better recognise the almost 250,000 South Australians who provide unpaid care, with a review of the Carers Recognition Act now underway.
Public consultation began this week as part of National Carers Week and carers are being asked to have their say.
Human Services Minister, Nat Cook says the Act acknowledges the valuable role of carers in the community and guides government agencies in their interactions with them.
“This review is to ensure people who take care of others in our community get the recognition they deserve. The role of a carer is in equal parts both rewarding and demanding and is interwoven in the health, disability, mental health and aged care sectors,” she said.
“We want carers to have their voices heard during the consultation period and to be reminded of how important they are to our community.
“It’s important that carers and carer organisations have their say so we can better understand the needs and preferences of the SA carer community.”
Across the state, more than 245,000 South Australians provide unpaid care and support services. The person requiring care may be living with a disability, mental health, a chronic or terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue, or are frail and ageing.
Carers can be partners, parents, children, friends, neighbours or colleagues who provide assistance with personal care, lifting, mobility, administering medication, banking, shopping or housework.
Led by the Department of Human Services (DHS), the review will assess if the
Act adequately recognises and supports carers in their roles.
Carers SA has welcomed the announcement of the review.
“Carers play an integral part in the community and are the foundation of Australia’s health, aged, disability, palliative, mental health and community care systems. The invaluable social and economic contribution that carers make to society should be recognised and supported,” said Carers SA CEO, David Militz.
“The review of this important legislation provides the opportunity to update and amplify the rights of South Australian carers now and into the future. It is imperative that the carer voice continues to be heard and recognised as part of this process,” he said.
Following consultation, responses will be used to inform recommendations to change the Act. DHS will then consider the recommendations and take appropriate action.
For more information and to have your say, visit yoursay.sa.gov.au/carers-recognition-act-review by 15 December 2023. Submissions can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.