Recognising and supporting Victoria’s carers: Victorian carer strategy 2018-22

This is the first whole-of-government strategy to support carers in their own right.
Carers are important – not only to the people they care for, the people whose lives they improve on a daily basis, but also to the whole community.

They provide support to partners, family and friends. They care for someone with a disability, mental illness, terminal illness, chronic illness, or an older person with care needs.

Victoria’s carers are as diverse as the people they care for. They provide emotional and practical support, and provide this care anywhere from a couple of hours a day to around-the-clock assistance.

The care role can be hugely rewarding for the carer, but it can also be challenging. It can be difficult to make sure carers get access to the services and supports they need to look after themselves and make sure they’re supported in their care role – particularly since many don’t identify as carers.

In preparing this strategy, we spoke with about 1,500 carers as well as carer support organisations to better understand the challenges, needs and wants of Victoria’s carers. Their input informs every aspect of this whole-of-Victorian-Government strategy.

Priority 1: Carers have better health and wellbeing

We will focus on:

  • more opportunities for carers to be physically and mentally healthy and socially connected to family, friends and their local community
  • accessible carer peer support and grassroots community support programs and services.
Priority 2: Carers are supported in school, study and work environments

We will focus on:

  • more opportunities for young carers to complete their education and participate in peer group activities
  • workplaces that recognise and support employees to balance work and care responsibilities
  • access to support and training for carers of all ages to remain in or re-enter the paid workforce and meet other responsibilities.
Priority 3: Carers can access support and services that meet their needs

We will focus on:

  • services  that better support individual carers’ needs and care roles for all population groups
  • accessible information about support and services for carers and an  easy-to-use service system.
Priority 4: Carers have less financial stress

We will focus on:

  • programs that support financial stability and housing for carers
  • access to transport options for carers.
Priority 5: Carers are recognised, acknowledged and respected

We will focus on:

  • better acknowledgement and recognition of carers across Victorian communities
  • more identification of hidden carers, with support and services provided to meet their needs
  • involvement of carers in decision making about services and programs for the people they care for.