Chapter 9 Outcome 5 - Disability and Carers

Outcome 5 at a glance

An adequate standard of living, improved capacity to participate economically and socially and manage life‑transitions for people with disability and/or mental illness and carers through payments, concessions, support and care services.

Outcome and programs

Figure 9.1 Outcome 5 programs

Figure-9.1

Highlights

Program 5.1: Targeted Community Care

The objective of program 5.1 is to implement community mental health initiatives to assist people with mental illness and their families and carers.

The program has one component: Mental Health.

Mental Health

The objective of the Mental Health component is to assist people with mental illness and their families and carers to manage the impact of mental illness.

The Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) Program funds flexible community-based mental health services that assist individuals affected by mental illness to live more independent lives and provide practical assistance and support to their families and carers.

Personal Helpers and Mentors

The Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) initiative provides recovery support for individuals whose lives have been severely affected by mental illness.

In 2010–11, PHaMs providers in all states and territories continued to deliver services that support individuals towards recovery by improving life skills and quality of life.

PHaMs services provide targeted support for vulnerable groups in all states and territories, such as humanitarian entrants, Indigenous Australians and people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Eleven sites provide services for Indigenous Australians living with mental illness in remote communities. Sixty‑nine non-metropolitan PHaMs sites provide services for Australians living in regional Australia.

Family Mental Health Support Services

The Family Mental Health Support Services initiative provides early intervention to assist vulnerable families with children and young people who are affected by mental illness.

In 2010–11, Family Mental Health Support Services providers in all states and territories continued to deliver services aimed at building on family strengths and improving resilience and family functioning.

Mandatory evaluations conducted by the providers showed that the services, through mixed methodologies, have been effective in prevention and early intervention. These evaluations, some of which were done in conjunction with universities, have made significant contributions to the evidence base for mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention at a local level.

Mental Health Respite

The Mental Health Respite services provide carers and families of people with mental illness with a range of services, including respite care and activities such as peer support and education that assist them in their caring role.

Respite services in all states and territories continued to deliver flexible services that were responsive to both the support needs of carers and the needs of the care recipients, allowing family members to participate more actively in the community.

Summary of performance

Table 9.1 summarises the Department’s results for program 5.1 against the key performance indicators published in the
2010–11 PB Statements.

Table 9.1 Program 5.1—key performance indicators

Key performance indicator Result
Mental Health
Percentage and number of clients, families and carers maintaining progress against individual goals

98%; 1,314

Based on a client satisfaction survey from a sample of 1,341 service recipients

Percentage and number of clients who report that they are satisfied that the service they received was appropriate to their needs

99%; 1,387

Based on a client satisfaction survey from a sample of 1,401 service recipients

Percentage and number of clients from Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

9%; 9,496 Indigenous

21%; 22,642 culturally and linguistically diverse

Table 9.2 Program 5.1—deliverable

Deliverable Result
Mental Health
Percentage and number of clients, families and carers whose lives are affected by mental illness accessing support services

95%; 107,052

Based on the number of registered clients as a proportion of all eligible people who have applied for assistance

Program 5.2: Disability Support Pension

TThe objective of program 5.2 is to make payments to eligible people with disability who are unable to support themselves to achieve financial independence.

The program has no components.

The Disability Support Pension (DSP) is an income support payment for people who are unable to adequately support themselves through work due to a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment.

During 2010–11, the Department advanced work on the Job Capacity Assessment—more efficient and accurate assessments for Disability Support Pension and employment services measure announced in the 2010–11 Budget. From 1 July 2011, responsibility for DSP job capacity assessments will transfer from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to FaHCSIA so that all DSP-related policy will be in one place. Also from 1 July 2011, all DSP job capacity assessments will be completed by Centrelink and CRS Australia.

In the 2011–12 Budget the Government announced that a key component of the more efficient and accurate assessments measure would begin on 3 September 2011 instead of 1 January 2012. This component requires DSP claimants with mild or moderate impairment to provide evidence that they cannot be assisted back to work. The requirement will provide a greater focus on a person’s potential to work, with appropriate capacity building and rehabilitation.

The Department also worked extensively with the advisory committee on the review of the tables for the assessment of work-related impairment for Disability Support Pension. Draft revised tables were prepared and tested by the advisory committee. Legislation is being drafted and the revised tables are due to be implemented on 1 January 2012.

The Department also worked on developing a number of new measures, announced in the 2011–12 Budget, which aim to assist DSP recipients to participate in the workforce and to improve the quality of DSP assessments. The new measures include:

Summary of performance

Table 9.3 summarises the Department’s results for program 5.2 against the key performance indicators published in the
2010–11 PB Statements.

Table 9.3 Program 5.2—key performance indicators

Key performance indicator Result
Disability Support Pension
Duration on payment

627 weeks

This result is a point-in-time, overall average duration of income support recipients and includes duration on other income support payments prior to claiming DSP where there has been no break.

Percentage and number of recipients reporting employment income

8.5%; 69,470 recipients

This result is a point-in-time count of the number of recipients who reported earnings.

Percentage and number of recipients on part rate due to the means test 19.5%; 159,947 recipients

This result is a point-in-time count of the number of recipients who receive less than the maximum rate of payment due to income or assets means testing.

Number of recipients

818,850

This result is a point-in-time count (frequency) of DSP recipients and includes recipients whose payment status is current or suspended.

Administered outlays $13,355.63 million
Payment accuracy

98.5%

Confidence interval +/– 2.7%a

Agreements are in place with all service delivery agencies An agreement is in place with Centrelink.
Strategies are in place to ensure that requirements are fulfilled under agreements with service delivery agencies The bilateral management arrangement with Centrelink requires quarterly reports or information exchanges to ensure that all risks are being managed. Business discussions are also held on a quarterly basis with Centrelink.
Percentage and number of estimated population of people with disability who receive payment

20.3%; 818,850/4,026,200

The result for this indicator is derived using the denominator from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (cat. no. 4430.0) and is the number of people with disability. Not all people with disability have a work limitation or rely on DSP.

Percentage and number of DSP population as a proportion of the total Australian working-age population

5.3%; 798,269/15,094,269

This result is a point-in-time count of DSP recipients aged 15 to 64 years and a point-in-time count of the Australian Bureau of Statistics data on the working-age population aged 15 to 64 years.

aDuring 2010–11, there was a reduced sample size as a number of the selected customers were exempt due to the various natural disasters that occurred during survey periods.

Table 9.4 summarises the Department’s results for program 5.2 against the deliverable published in the 2010–11 PB Statements.

Table 9.4 Program 5.2—deliverable

Deliverable Result
Disability Support Pension
Payments are made through Centrelink to eligible claimants under the provisions of social security law Payments were made as described

Program 5.3: Income Support for Carers

The objective of program 5.3 is to make payments and allowances to financially assist eligible carers of people with disability or a severe medical condition, or of people who are frail aged.

The program has the following components:

Ex gratia payments to unsuccessful applicants of Carer Payment (child)

The objective of ex gratia payments to unsuccessful applicants of Carer Payment (child) (also known as Carer Adjustment Payment) is to make one-off payments to families not eligible for income support where, following a catastrophic event involving a child aged 0 to 6 years, the family is going through a period of significant adjustment as a result of the care needs of the child.

Carer Allowance (adult)

The objective of Carer Allowance (adult) is to make payments to financially assist carers who provide daily care and attention in a private home to a person with a disability or a severe medical condition.

Carer Allowance (child)

The objective of Carer Allowance (child) is to make payments to financially assist carers who provide daily care and attention in a private home to a child under 16 years with a disability or a severe medical condition.

Carer Allowance is not taxable or income and assets tested, and it can be paid in addition to a social security income support payment. A carer who qualifies for Carer Payment (child) automatically qualifies for Carer Allowance (child).

On 1 July 2010, a single assessment process was introduced for Carer Allowance (child) and Carer Payment (child). Qualification for Carer Allowance (child) is now assessed and scored using the same process and scoring as used for Carer Payment (child).

The transition from Carer Allowance (child) to Carer Allowance (adult) when a child turns 16 was simplified. These carers do not need to complete a full claim for Carer Allowance (adult). They are now given a pre-populated form three months before the child’s sixteenth birthday. These carers remain qualified for Carer Allowance (child) for up to three months after the child turns 16 years of age.

Child Disability Assistance Payment

The objective of the Child Disability Assistance Payment is to make payments annually to Carer Allowance (child) recipients to assist families to purchase support, aids, therapies or respite for their child with disability.

Carer Payment

The objective of Carer Payment is to make payments to financially assist carers whose caring responsibilities for people with disability, frailty because of age or a severe medical condition severely restrict their ability to undertake paid employment.

The carer must personally provide constant care in the home of the care receiver, and meet an income and assets test. A person cannot receive Carer Payment and another income support payment at the same time.

Care receivers are subject to a separate income and assets test.

Carer Supplement

The objective of the Carer Supplement is to make payments annually to eligible carers to provide additional financial security and alleviate financial pressures.

A carer is qualified for Carer Supplement if they receive a qualifying payment in respect of a period that includes 1 July.

Wife Pension (DSP)

The objective of Wife Pension (DSP) is to make payments to female partners of DSP recipients to assist them financially. This payment was closed to new entrants from 1 July 1995. Wife Pension (DSP) is income and assets tested and paid at the same rate as other social security pensions.

Summary of performance

Table 9.5 summarises the Department’s results for program 5.3 against the key performance indicators published in the
2010–11 PB Statements.

Table 9.5 Program 5.3—key performance indicators

Key performance indicator Result
Carer Allowance (adult and child)/Carer Payment/Child Disability Assistance Payment/Wife Pension (DSP)/Carer Supplement
Number of recipients

Carer Allowance (adult and child): 521,033 (plus 18,593 Health Care Card–only recipients)

Carer Payment: 186,065

Child Disability Assistance Payment: 141,514

Wife Pension (DSP): 11,882

Carer Supplement: 525,192

These results are a point-in-time count (frequency) of recipients and include recipients whose payment status is current or suspended.

Administered outlays

Carer Allowance (child): $453.57 million

Carer Allowance (adult): $1,151.17 million

Carer Payment: $2,729.64 million

Child Disability Assistance Payment: $160.17 million

Wife Pension (DSP): $160.55 million

Carer Supplement: $451.85 million

Payment accuracy

Carer Payment: 97.6%

Confidence interval +/-1.0%

Carer Allowance: 98.7%

Confidence interval +/-1.7%

Carer Allowance (adult and child)/Carer Payment
Agreements are in place with all service delivery agencies An agreement is in place with Centrelink.
Strategies are in place to ensure that requirements are fulfilled under agreements with service delivery agencies The bilateral management arrangement with Centrelink requires quarterly reports or information exchanges to ensure that all risks are being managed. Business discussions are also held on a quarterly basis with Centrelink.
Percentage and number of primary carers who are receiving payment

Carer Payment: 24.1%; 186,065/771,400

Carer Allowance; 67.5%; 521,033/771,400

The results for this indicator rely on the definition of primary carer used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (cat. no. 4430.0) and represent the number of people who provided the most informal help needed by a person with disability. Eligibility for Carer Payment or Carer Allowance is not determined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics definition of a primary carer.

Carer Payment/Wife Pension (DSP)
Percentage and number of recipients reporting employment income

Carer Payment: 10.6%; 19,671

Wife Pension (DSP): 23.2%; 2,754

The results are a point-in-time count of the number of recipients who reported earnings.

Percentage and number of recipients on full rate and on part rate due to the means test

Carer Payment:

Full rate: 74.2%; 138,148

Part rate: 25.8%; 47,917

Wife Pension (DSP):

Full rate: 70.1%; 8,328

Part rate:29.9%; 3,554

These results are a point-in-time count of the number of recipients who receive less than the maximum rate of payment due to income or assets testing.

Wife Pension (DSP)
Ratio of current number of Wife Pension (DSP) recipients to the number of Wife Pension (DSP) recipients at 1 July 1995 9.8%; 11,882/121,839

Table 9.6 summarises the Department’s results for program 5.3 against the deliverables published in the 2010–11 PB Statements.

Table 9.6 Program 5.3—deliverables

Deliverable Result
Payments are made through Centrelink to eligible claimants under the provisions of social security law Payments were made as described
Ex gratia payments to unsuccessful applicants for Carer Payment (child) (Carer Adjustment Payment) are paid under the provisions of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 Payments were made as described

Program 5.4: Services and Support for People with Disability

The objective of program 5.4 is to provide supported employment and improve access to information, advocacy and services for people with disability, so they can develop their capabilities and actively participate in community and economic life.

The program has one component: Services for People with Disability.

Services for People with Disability

The objective of the Services for People with Disability component is to provide social support and community‑based care for people with disability, their carers and their families, to promote independence, self‑reliance and participation in the community.

Helping Children with Autism package

The Government (through FaHCSIA, the Department of Health and Ageing and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations) delivers the Helping Children with Autism package.

The FaHCSIA components of the package, with $175.9 million in funding over four years to 2012, provide the autism advisor service, early intervention funding, Early Days workshops, Autism Specific Early Learning and Care centres and PlayConnect playgroups. The funding includes $29.7 million provided by the Government to meet the increased demand for Early Intervention Services.

The package is a major breakthrough in support and recognition of the enormous challenges for children with autism spectrum disorder, their families and carers.

In 2010–11 the package continued to assist eligible children aged up to 6 years who have the disorder, and their families and carers, through over 850 service providers across Australia who provide early intervention services and support to more than 14,000 eligible children.

Autism Specific Early Learning and Care centres

The Government has established six Autism Specific Early Learning and Care centres. The centres combine specialist early intervention services and early childhood education in a long-day care setting. Each centre offers a minimum of 20 approved child care places for children with autism spectrum disorder up to 6 years of age. Centres operate in Adelaide (Prospect), Brisbane (Griffith University’s Nathan Campus), Perth (Warwick), south-western Sydney (Liverpool), Melbourne (La Trobe University) and north-west Tasmania (Burnie). These centres will further contribute to the evidence base for early intervention service provision for children with autism spectrum disorder.

Supported employment services

Australian Disability Enterprises provide supported employment for people with disability. In 2010–11, 202 organisations in 321 outlets were funded across Australia to provide supported employment to 22,531 people with disability.

In 2010–11, the Department continued to assist in the development of the Australian Government’s vision for inclusion for people with disability through sustainable supported employment. The Department engaged a financial consultant to conduct an independent review of the funding model for Australian Disability Enterprises.

In 2010–11, 93 per cent of supported employees achieved an employment outcome of at least eight hours per week for 13 weeks or more. Program results included 10,190 (46.9 per cent) of supported employees with reduced reliance on income support payments (sufficient income to affect Disability Support Pension).

Information and advocacy

The National Information Service provides information on recreation, tourism, sport, accommodation and the arts for all people with disability, their carers and families through a national database via telephone, post, fax, email or internet.

The National Disability Advocacy Program provides people with disability with access to effective disability advocacy that promotes, protects and ensures their full and equal enjoyment of all human rights, to enable full community participation. In 2010–11, 62 organisations were funded across Australia to provide advocacy support to people with disability. A new quality assurance system for the program was trialled from November 2009 to September 2010. The new system requires third-party certification and a revised set of disability advocacy standards. The final report on the trial evaluation recommended that the Department consider further development and implementation of the program’s quality assurance system.

Special Disability Trusts

The purpose of a Special Disability Trust is to assist immediate family members and carers who have the financial means to do so to make private financial provision for the current and future care and accommodation needs of a family member with severe disability.

Special Disability Trusts attract generous social security means test concessions for the beneficiary and eligible contributors. The beneficiary’s immediate family members who are of Age Pension age can gift up to $500,000 into the trust without having the social security gifting rules applied. In addition, a Special Disability Trust can have assets worth up to $578,500 (as at 1 July 2011, indexed annually) without affecting the beneficiary’s social security pension, such as the Disability Support Pension.

Progress on the new initiatives under the National Disability Strategy

On 24 July 2010, the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Hon. Jenny Macklin MP, and the former Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children’s Services, the Hon. Bill Shorten MP, announced an accessibility package to support one of the outcomes under the new National Disability Strategy—inclusive and accessible communities.

In 2010–11, progress was made on the new initiatives, to ensure that people with disability and their carers have the same opportunities as other Australians to play a part in their local community and access local facilities and public spaces.

Accessible communities

The Government announced $5 million in 2010–11 for funding of up to $100,000 to local governments with matched funding. The initiative aims to make local buildings and public spaces more accessible for people with disability so that they can fully participate in the community.

Applications for funding were invited from interested local government authorities. Successful applicants were announced on 6 June 2011 by the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator the Hon. Jan McLucas. The initiative approved 78 projects through 68 local governments. Successful access projects include swimming pool modifications, access paths to community facilities such as parks, and inclusive children’s playgrounds. All the projects will be completed by 30 June 2012.

Improved access to digital content in public libraries

The Australian Government provided $1 million in 2010–11 for playback devices to improve access to print material in a digital format for people with print disability. Through this initiative, 1,250 playback devices are being provided to around 170 selected public libraries (and their outlets and services) across the country. The playback devices enable people with print disability to benefit from recent improvements in digital technology and increase access to the vast range of material available through public libraries. The Australian Library and Information Association was selected to implement the library initiative.

Leaders for Tomorrow

The Australian Government is providing $3 million over four years to provide 200 people with disability with up to 12 months of leadership support. By linking people with disability with appropriate training, support and mentoring, they will develop the skills and confidence to become leaders in business, the community and government.

TAFE NSW Hunter Institute, leading a consortium with disability consultants E‑QUAL (Enhancing Quality), will deliver the Leaders for Tomorrow initiative. The first participants are expected to begin the program in September 2011.

Ramp Up website

FaHCSIA partnered with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to improve access to information for people with disability and increase general community awareness through an interactive website that focuses on disability. The website, Ramp Up, was launched on 3 December 2010.

Other services and initiatives

Access and inclusion

The Australian Government committed $3 million over three years to support the rollout of the Australian Disability Parking Scheme administered by state, territory and local government agencies. The scheme includes a new Australian disability parking permit and the development of new national eligibility criteria and national minimum standards for disability parking concessions, which will be introduced when each state and territory makes the necessary changes to its local laws and regulations.

Under the Accessible Cinemas initiative, the Australian Government provided funding to fast-track implementation of new audio description and captioning technology in cinemas. The project will significantly improve access to cinemas for people who are deaf, hearing impaired, blind or vision impaired by assisting Australia’s major cinema chains to convert to digital-based technology.

The National Disability Conference initiative provides funding to assist eligible conference organisers to maximise the inclusion and participation of people with disability at disability-focused conferences held in Australia. In 2010–11, the initiative funded 27 organisations.

Communications

The Captioning Service program captions normally uncaptioned educational and community DVDs, including downloadable versions.

The Print Disability Services program provides funding for producing digital masters of print material that can then be easily converted into the alternative format of choice for people with print disability. The program funded five providers in 2010–11.

The National Auslan Interpreter Booking and Payment Service provides Auslan interpreters free of charge to deaf Auslan users attending specified private medical or health consultations that attract a Medicare rebate.

Under the Postal Concessions for the Blind program, FaHCSIA reimburses Australia Post for the cost of posting Braille documents, audio recordings and other eligible material for people who are blind.

Outside School Hours Care for Teenagers with Disability

More than 1,880 students with disability benefited from quality outside‑school‑hours care under the Outside School Hours Care for Teenagers with Disability program. The program provided funding to 44 organisations to deliver before‑school, after-school and holiday care to this vulnerable group in 64 locations across Australia.

Respite Support for Carers of Young People

The Respite Support for Carers of Young People with Severe or Profound Disability Program provides immediate and short-term respite to carers of young people with severe or profound disability. The program provides access to information, respite care and other support or assistance appropriate for the individual needs and circumstances of both carers and care recipients. In 2010–11, the program supported 6,731 carers through access to much-needed respite.

Housing

The Australian Government is providing $1 million in seed funding from 2011–12 to 2013–14 for the Livable Housing Design initiative (formerly Universal Design for Housing). The project was developed by the National Dialogue on Universal Housing Design, which involves all levels of government and the disability, aged, community, residential building and property sectors.

In 2010 the dialogue group released national guidelines and a strategic plan which provide aspirational targets for all new homes to be of an agreed universal housing design standard by 2020. In April 2011, the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator the Hon. Jan McLucas, announced that a new not‑for‑profit organisation, Livable Housing Australia, will be established to encourage Australians who are constructing new homes to comply with livable housing design standards.

Supported accommodation

The Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund was established to build up to 150 supported accommodation and respite places for people with disability. The places will be available to people with severe or profound disability who may have ageing carers and who may be on waiting lists. The fund supports innovation and collaborative partnerships to provide supported accommodation. After extensive consultation with the disability sector and housing organisations, in-principle agreement of the service delivery model was reached with all states and territories. An exposure draft of the program guidelines was placed on the FaHCSIA website for comment. The program guidelines were finalised and applications for funding of innovative proposals will be called for in September 2011.

Summary of performance

Table 9.7 summarises the Department’s results for program 5.4 against the key performance indicators published in the
2010–11 PB Statements.

Table 9.7 Program 5.4—key performance indicators

Key performance indicator Result
Services for People with Disability
Percentage and number of supported employees who achieve an employment outcome (at least eight hours per week for at least 13 weeks from commencement in a supported employment place) 93%; 20,499
Percentage and number of individuals, parents and carers who report that they were assisted to access choices and options that enabled them to manage their needs 73%; 1,215
Percentage and number of supported employees/clients with reduced reliance on income support payments (sufficient income to affect Disability Support Pension) 46.9%; 10,190
Percentage and number of clients from Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
Australian Disability Enterprises:
Indigenous: 2.3%; 512
Culturally and linguistically diverse: 7.1%; 1,595
Respite Support for Carers of Young People with Severe or Profound Disability:
Indigenous: 4.5%; 304
Culturally and linguistically diverse: 14%; 930
Outside School Hours Care for Teenagers with Disability:
Indigenous: 6%; 106
Culturally and linguistically diverse: 13%; 244
Percentage and number of clients reporting that the services received were appropriate to their needs as parents/carers
Respite Support for Carers of Young People with Severe or Profound Disability:
88%; 1,591
Outside School Hours Care for Teenagers with Disability:
97%; 1,823

Table 9.8 summarises the Department’s results for program 5.4 against the deliverables published in the
2010–11 PB Statements.

Table 9.8 Program 5.4—deliverables

Deliverable Result
Percentage and number of people with disability, including children with autism, receiving support servicesa

Helping Children with Autism: 14,492b

National Disability Advocacy Program: 11,500b

National Auslan Booking and Payment Service: 19,125b

Percentage and number of supported employees assisted by supported employment servicesc 22,531
Percentage and number of carers of people with severe or profound disability assisted with short-term or immediate respitec, d 6,731
Percentage and number of clients receiving Outside School Hours Care for Teenagers with Disability Servicesc, d 1,882

aThe result for this deliverable does not include people with disability receiving support services in supported employment. The results are reported under percentage and number of supported employees assisted by supported employment services.

bPercentage-based outcomes are not possible at this time as the total applicable population has not been determined.

cPercentage-based outcomes are not possible at this time as data is not available to quantify the total applicable population.

dFigures for Respite Support for Carers of Young People with Severe or Profound Disability and Outside School Hours for Teenagers with Disability are preliminary and subject to receipt of the final annual activity reports.

Program 5.5: Support for Carers

The objective of program 5.5 is to provide peer support, respite and information services for carers to help them balance their care responsibilities with social participation and, in the case of young carers, completion of their education.

The program has no components.

MyTime peer support groups

The MyTime Peer Support Groups for Parents of Young Children with Disability Program provides peer support groups for parents and carers of young children with disability or a chronic medical condition.

In 2010–11, 262 peer support groups were provided for parents and carers of children with disability aged up to 16 years. Parents of young children with disability are at significant risk of isolation and are often socially disconnected from family and friends due to the intensity of their caring role. The MyTime groups provide an important opportunity for parents and carers to socialise, share ideas and find out about community support services and research-based parenting information.

The program performed well in 2010–11, with 3,586 parents and carers attending a MyTime peer support group.

Young Carers Respite and Information Services Program

The Young Carers Respite and Information Services Program assists young carers who need support to complete secondary education due to the demands of their caring role.

In 2010–11, the program’s respite services continued to help young carers at school take time off to study, spend time with friends and enjoy regular activities that other young people take for granted. The program provided valuable respite and age-appropriate support to more than 3,800 young carers during the year.

The information, advice and referral services assisted an additional 1,560 young carers, up to and including 25 years of age, in managing the challenges they face in their caring role.

Some young carers have accessed both respite and information services.

National Carer Recognition Framework

FaHCSIA led the introduction of the Carer Recognition Act 2010 and a guide to the Act.

FaHCSIA, together with the Department of Health and Ageing, Carers Australia and Children with Disability Australia, conducted Australia-wide consultations on the National Carer Strategy between October and December 2010. The Australian Government released the National Carer Strategy on 3 August 2011. The National Carer Strategy complements the National Disability Strategy, which sets out a 10-year national plan for improving life for Australians with disability, their families and carers.

Summary of performance

Table 9.9 summarises the Department’s results for program 5.5 against the key performance indicators published in the
2010–11 PB Statements.

Table 9.9 Program 5.5—key performance indicators

Key performance indicator Result
Support for Carers
Percentage and number of clients from Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
MyTime:
Indigenous: 3%; 140
Culturally and linguistically diverse: 11%; 558
Young Carers:
Indigenous: 8%; 320
Culturally and linguistically diverse: 10%; 382
Number of young carers at risk of not completing education assisted with respite services 3,807
Number of parents and carers assisted by MyTime peer support groups 3,586a

aThis figure does not include results from the last quarterly report.

Table 9.10 summarises the Department’s results for program 5.5 against the deliverables published in the 2010–11 PB Statements.

Table 9.10 Program 5.5—deliverables

Deliverable Result
Young Carers
Respite, support information, referral and advice for young carers at risk of not completing secondary educationa 3,807
MyTime
Peer support for parents of children with disability or chronic medical condition 3,586b

aFigures for Young Carers Respite and Information Services are preliminary and subject to receipt of the final annual activity reports.

bThis figure does not include results from the last quarterly report.

Outlook for Outcome 5

National agreements and strategies

In 2011–12, the Department will continue to implement and monitor the outcomes of reforms to the disability service system under the National Disability Agreement with state and territory governments, and to work towards achieving the Australian Government’s vision for inclusion for people with disability through sustainable supported employment.

Together with state and territory governments and other Commonwealth agencies, the Department will continue work on implementing the National Disability Strategy, including additional initiatives in support of an inclusive Australian society that enables people with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens.

In February 2010, the Australian Government commissioned the Productivity Commission inquiry into the costs, benefits and feasibility of a national disability care and support scheme. The commission released a draft report on 28 February 2011, and provided the final report to the Government on 1 August 2011. On 10 August 2011, the Prime Minister released the Productivity Commission’s final report into care and support for people with disability.

Following agreement by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) the Department is working with the states and territories and other stakeholders, to progress work on foundation reforms and governance arrangements for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Department will provide secretariat support to the Select Council of Treasurers and Disability Ministers established by COAG and the NDIS Advisory Group.

Following the release of the National Carer Strategy, FaHCSIA will work towards the implementation of the strategy with other Commonwealth agencies to ensure that carers have the opportunity and support that they need to balance their caring responsibilities with participation in economic, social and community life.

Disability Support Pension

During 2011–12 the Department will:

Mental health

The Australian Government announced funding of $269.3 million over the next five years, as part of the National Mental Health Reform, to expand and introduce new community mental health services.

The reform provides an additional 40 Family Mental Health Support Services and includes initiatives to provide integrated early intervention and prevention services to vulnerable children and young people affected by or at risk of mental illness and their families. The reforms will also expand two key service strategies of the Targeted Community Care (Mental Health) Program, Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) and Mental Health Respite services, to provide improved support to people with severe mental illness and their families and carers.

The PHaMs expansion includes additional support for people with severe mental illness to access employment and training opportunities.

Children with disability

An evaluation, to be completed by December 2011, will guide future directions for the Helping Children with Autism package. The evaluation will assess the extent to which the program objectives are being achieved, identify possible improvements and inform decisions about the future of the package.

The Better Start for Children with Disability initiative commenced on 1 July 2011. The initiative builds on the success of the Helping Children with Autism package and focuses on improving access to early intervention services for children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Fragile X syndrome and moderate or greater vision or hearing impairments.

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