New plan to support South Australian carers
Communities and Social Inclusion Minister Zoe Bettison will today launch the 'We Care - Our Plan for South Australian Carers', the State Government's new strategic plan for carers.
"There are about 250,000 carers in South Australia who play a vital role in our community, as well as in our health and community care systems," Ms Bettison said.
"The State Government recognises this dedication can at times exact a heavy toll on their physical and mental health, their employment and their ability to have time for themselves.
"This plan acknowledges that our carers have needs of their own and that more can be done to support and empower them.
"The strategy is an important step to build on the Government's longstanding commitment to carers."
The priorities of the plan address:
- support for carers working in government agencies
- the social, emotional and physical needs of carers
- increasing choices for carers
- the specific needs of Aboriginal carers, young carers and carers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- carers' needs after transitioning from a caring role.
Ms Bettison said the proportion of employees who are carers is growing and many struggle to maintain employment.
"There will be increasing pressure on employers to understand and respond to staff who are carers," Ms Bettison said.
"This may require workplaces to become more flexible and responsive to their individual staff.
"Carers are individuals who should receive support in their own right – not just as an extension of the person they care for.
"Their quality of life and wellbeing has a big impact on their ability to continue caring in often difficult circumstances. Caring for carers makes good sense for all of the community."
Ms Bettison said many people suddenly or unexpectedly become carers and they may not be aware of the support available to them."We want to increase awareness about the supports available to carers, especially in the early stages of their caring role, to help them manage this new and sometimes challenging role.
"In particular, carers need options for themselves and the person they care for as well as information about what is available in their local area."
We Care - Our Plan for South Australian Carers can be found at www.sa.gov.au/carers/plan or contact the Office for Carers on (08) 8415 4352.