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The role of carers

Carers are important people in the lives of family members with disability. They offer help with daily activities, along with emotional, social and financial support. Because of their role, carers understand first-hand the challenges faced by the person with disability, and what they need most to help them meet their full potential.

Why carers are involved in the NDIS

Carers and families are vital in helping people with disability to realise their goals. They also provide valuable knowledge and support during the NDIS process. For some people with a disability, their carer will be the person who must navigate the NDIS. This involves making sure that:

  • the person they care for can access the NDIS
  • the person they care for gets support that is reasonable and necessary, and what is needed in their situation
  • the NDIS plan is managed appropriately
  • regular reviews of NDIS support take place at suitable times.

Support for carers

Carers have an enormous responsibility. They often perform their caring role while looking after other family members, or even while working or studying. Supporting carers is extremely important to make sure that they and their families can continue their caring roles. While carers can’t join the NDIS unless they have a disability too, the supports provided to the person they’re caring for can help them.

Support from NDIS

While the NDIS plan focuses on the person with disability, the types of supports in the NDIS plan may also have direct or indirect benefits for families and carers. These may include:

  • family support and counselling
  • building skills and capacity of other family members to help manage how disability affects family life
  • supports that increase the participant’s independence, and ability for the participant to enjoy social and community activities independent of their carers
  • supports to help with the role of caring, such as personal care and domestic help related to the person’s disability
  • a support worker to be included in family outings to help the person with disability, especially if the family has other children
  • access to respite care to give carers a break from their caring responsibilities.

Support from other agencies

Carers can also access support through other agencies, including:

Department of Social Services (DSS)
Carer Gateway
Carers Australia
Young Carers Network
Department of Human Services (Centrelink)

Caring for someone with mental illness

A person with a permanent psychosocial disability that substantially reduces their capacity to perform every day activities may be eligible for NDIS funding. Not everyone with a mental health condition will have a psychosocial disability. More information about this can be found on the NDIS website.

Getting support for your child

Children under 7 years old, who have a developmental delay or disability, may also be eligible for funding. Under the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach, Early Childhood Partners can provide help, advice and access to early interventions and support for children. For further details visit the NDIS website.

A range of fact sheets to help you navigate the ECEI and NDIS are also

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About Carers Australia

Carers Australia is the national peak body representing and advocating for unpaid carers.

Our organisation works to improve the health, wellbeing, resilience and financial security of carers, and to make sure that caring is the shared responsibility of family, community and government.

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