We work to improve the health, wellbeing and resilience of Carers. We aim to ensure that caring is a responsibility that’s shared by family, community and government. We also aim to raise greater awareness of Carers and their needs.
Carers SA is the voice of South Australia’s Carers. We persistently advocate across governments, health systems, businesses and communities for the Recognition of Carers and for appropriate and meaningful support and services for Carers. Carers SA’s CEO, David Militz speaks regularly with relevant State and Federal Ministers across political lines, with decision makers of Government Departments and business representatives inform the development of any policies, processes and practices that impact Carers.
We do not do this alone. We take our mandate from Carers. We listen to what Carers tell us directly. We collate feedback via social media, via the Carers SA Your Voice and in our specific Carer surveys. We collate that data to inform the key focus of Advocacy and to provide evidenced information and submissions to state based or national decision makers regarding what Carers want and need.
This page will provide a window to some of Carers SA’s advocacy involvement to benefit Carers in South Australia.
Carers SA’s formal submission to SA State Government Ministers and Decision Makers – Feb 2022
After a special consultation project with Carers via social media and the Carers SA Your Voice channel, Carers SA collated the details and made a formal submission in February 2022. In the document, Carers SA was asking the State Government for specific key commitments to Carers. One of the commitments was for a co-designed review of current Carer related legislation to shift towards a rights based principle. Subsequently, this item was included within the first State Budget 2022 for commencement in 2023. You can read the submission text here.
National Network of Carer Organisations – Carer Policy and Advocacy discussions with Minister Amanda Rishworth / Canberra.
In early September 2022, representatives from Carers SA attended the Carers Australia – National Network of Carer Organisations’ Strategic Planning Day at Parliament House in Canberra. The aim was to solidify strategies around key federal Carer policy asks and advocacy focus areas into the foreseeable future. Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth joined the discussions. It was a very positive and encouraging meeting, which resulted in focused efforts around four key Carer Policy / Advocacy areas:
- Recognition of Carers (incl. a National Carer Strategy)
- Carers Financial Security
- Carers and Employment
- Young Carers
Advocacy within the STAAR-SA – State Action on Avoidable Rehospitalisations and Unplanned Admissions Project. The STAAR-SA project aims to improve pathways of care for older people aged 65 years and over after discharge from hospital. The project focuses on older people living in the community and residential care, who have had an aged care eligibility assessment and are particularly vulnerable to admission/readmission to hospital. The developed resources include infographics and videos. More project details are available via this website: Health Translation SA – STAAR-SA Project. Carers SA is involved in this project, and in particular took part in a Think Tank: ‘Establishing and evaluating a quality improvement collaborative to address hospital to home transitions for older people’, where we represented the voice of Carers, discussed details about practices and processes and concluded that a ‘whole of system’ approach was required with better integration across primary and acute care with improved engagement between service providers, patients and Carers.
Recognition of Carers within SA’s Health System – Carers as Partners in Care
After receiving feedback from Carers regarding their experiences within the health system, SA Health and Carers SA have worked in partnership over a number of years to implement better recognition of Carers as Partners in Care. The SA Health Partnering with Carers policy was developed with Carers SA and carer representatives to reflect the priorities and needs of unpaid Carers and establish principles and standards. The policy identifies what is important to Carers, based on feedback from Carers and includes clearly defined roles and responsibilities for SA Health staff. The stated key priorities (PDF 88KB) and outcomes for this project include:
- Early identification and recognition
- Carers are engaged as partners in care
- Carers provide comments and feedback
- Carer friendly workplace
- Celebrate Carers during National Carers Week
- Staff education and training.