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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 393 ..

Carers of People with a Mental Illness - Funding over a 12 month period to enhance the community sector's capacity to promote and support the role of carers of people with mental illness through an existing contract with Carers ACT. The project will provide a rigorous program of education and training to Mental Health ACT clinical staff including induction and orientation processes and ongoing staff development concerning the role of carers. Representation of carer needs, issues and expertise will be made to Government and services concerning policy and program development including respite care. Assistance will be provided to staff at the Psychiatric Services Unit to develop information for carers and consumers. Referrals will be made to services including respite care and Mental Health Carers Network. Mental Health ACT has purchased these services from Carers ACT by Mental Health ACT.


This package includes funding already provided for the:

Maintenance the provision of 4450 hours individual respite care support and services to people with mental illness and carers of people with a mental illness. This program focuses on providing respite care where the principal carer is a young person; and

Empirical Respite Needs Study - Funding for the study into met and unmet respite needs in the ACT.





(3) The 2002 - 03 Budget initiative that provided $1 million for additional respite services across all areas of respite highlighted the need to undertake the Review of Respite Care Empirical Needs Study prior to allocating recurrent funding to meet gaps in service provision. This study is in the process of being undertaken by Enduring Solutions under contract to ACT Health. This study will cover both Territory and Commonwealth funded programs. The aim is to identify met and unmet need and to better coordinate existing respite care models. A respite care reference group has been convened by ACT Health to ensure that all stakeholders were consulted in the development of the study terms of reference. This group included both ACT and Commonwealth officers, community service providers, and carer groups. The final report was due in February 2003.

(4) The Government has not received the report of the Respite Care Empirical

Needs Study as the consultation phase of the study was due to be undertaken during January of this year. The community organizations and the consultants involved in these consultations were affected by the January bushfires. A number of these organizations had to vacate the Grant Cameron Centre whilst restorative work was undertaken and ongoing issues related to accommodation, communication and increased demands on services during this time has meant that the finish date of this report has been extended to mid April 2003.

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