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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2293 ..



of need for respite care. A family support model of respite care is being developed with three community agencies in this pilot. Participating families will be able to use respite funds for goods and services that meet their individual circumstances; and

supplementing existing respite care programs for families at risk and kinship carers through Marymead and Barnardos.

These pilot programs will ensure that families maintain and strengthen their capacity to meet the needs of family members.

Mr Speaker, some of the other initiatives already put in place by the government include:

the innovative dementia respite service, whereby ACT Health is working with the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Carers Association to develop a pilot of innovative respite care for people with dementia. Funding of $20,000 has been provided by the government to assist with the project. The project will provide day respite for carers of people with dementia and challenging behaviours. The service will operate from 8 am to 8 pm to meet the needs of working carers; and

ACT Health is also coordinating a project to reduce fragmentation of respite care service provision by working with the Departments of Disability, Housing and Community Services and Education, Youth and Family Services, and other providers. This project will include development and provision of information to carers and providers.

The need for increased recognition for the needs of carers and people with mental illness was also identified in recommendations in the report. Funding has been allocated for individual respite care support and services to people with mental illness and their carers. This program focuses on providing respite care where the principal carer is a young person. A mental health carers project has also been funded over a 12-month period to promote and support the role of carers of people with a mental illness.

The need for rapid entry and easy exit emergency respite arrangements was identified in the report, and the government will continue to support the role of the Burrangiri Crisis Respite Centre for the Aged in the provision of crisis respite services for older people and their carers.

These are just some examples of what the government is actively doing to address respite care needs. However, I recognise that there needs to be more done to ensure that respite services are accessible, flexible, and meet the needs of carers and care recipients. The report will provide guidance for the government in addressing these

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