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Welcome to the Working Carers Gateway

This website has been created to help people who are juggling working AND caring roles.

Who is a working carer? - A working carer is a person who is in paid employment and who cares for a relative or friend who is ill, frail, has a disability or is ageing. They may work full-time, part-time, casually or have a business of their own

Recently become a working carer?

Then you have come to the right place. Visit our carer fact sheets to
find out your options when it comes to dealing with Centrelink, your workplace and the new role you have taken on.

Click Here to get started!




Read the Work 'n' Care Monthly Newsletter

The latest edition Work 'n' Care, Our monthly newsletter, is now available. Take some time and have a look as our goal is to present you with new information and effective projects to improve carers’ lives, so that what works, spreads.

Click here to read the latest edition of Work 'n' Care

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Quick Links

Employee Guide

Read our employee tips on how to speak with your employer and making your workplace carer friendly.

Employer Advice

Our Employer section has a range of information to help any size employer make the most of the carers at work.

Carers Toolkit

Find out how the this toolkit can help you describe daily carer activities in ways that can be used in
job applications.

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State and Territory funding
State and Territoryfunding for aged and disability services is mainly used for short to long-termcommunity-based programs. These cater for frail older people, younger people with disabilities and their carers.
Most services are provided through the Home and Community Care (HACC) program, which is jointly funded by Federal and State and Territory governments, but administered by the NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (DADHC). The HACC program provides community care as an alternative to hospital, hostel or nursing home care. HACC services include:

  • home help
  • personal care
  • respite care
  • transport
  • home maintenance and modifications
  • home nursing
  • food services
  • Community Options Programs (COPs) - co-ordination of services if the person you are caring for has complex care needs
  • allied health services such as physiotherapy and podiatry
  • social support through the Neighbour Aid program
The program employs HACC co-ordinators, development officers and access co-ordinators at various organisations and agencies. These people work to ensure that services run smoothly, are responsive to the diverse cultural backgrounds of their users, and that people who are entitled to use HACC services are able to do so. Some services have workers who speak community languages, or they are dedicated to the needs of Aboriginal people. Services may cater for special diets or run a variety of activities appropriate for the many different cultural groups in NSW.
Eligibility is usually based on need and availability of services. Working carers may have to negotiate their access to the HACC program as well as the fees paid.

Federal funding
Federal funding for aged care services is mainly used to provide permanent residential nursing and hostel care, as well as short-term respite and tailored package services for people who are ageing.
Federally funded packages include:

The following information goes into more detail about each program.

Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs)
Aged Care Assessment Teams help older people and their carers work out what kind of care will best meet their needs when they are no longer able to manage at home without assistance. The team provide information on suitable care options and can help arrange access or referral to appropriate residential or community care.

Extended Aged Care At Home (EACH)
The EACH program is a small, limited program, which enables frail older people to remain in their homes by providing care at the level currently provided in high care residential aged care facilities. To be eligible, the Aged Care Assessment Team must assess the person you are caring for.

Community Aged Care Packages (CACPs)
CACPs are planned and coordinated packages of community care services to help older people with complex care needs to remain living in their own home. These are designed for each individual and are based upon his or her particular needs.

Commonwealth Carer Respite Centres and services

CommonwealthCarer Respite Centres specialise in helping carers to access community-based or residential respite services in their local area. Respite services help carers – both of frail older people and younger people who are ill or have a disability – to take breaks from their caring. There is a range of services that look after the person you are caring for while you have a rest or attend to other commitments. This can happen in your own home, at day centres or activities or in residential accommodation. Respite is generally not available to enable you to do full-time work, but it can assist you to manage work and care. To find your nearest Commonwealth Carer Respite Centre, telephone freecall 1800 059 059.

Hostel and nursing home care

Historically there have been two options in residential aged care accommodation – hostels and nursing homes. Residential care is available for older people who cannot live at home and who have been assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team worker as needing such care.

  • Hostels generally provide accommodation and personal assistance for those needing a low level of care
  • Nursing homes generally care for people with a greater degree of frailty, often in need of continuous nursing care at a high level

How do I get these services?
To access both the HACC and aged care programs, contact your nearest Commonwealth Carelink Centre on telephone freecall 1800 052 222. Commonwealth Carelink Centres assist older people and their families, people with special care needs and carers with information about community, residential and other aged care services.

How does the service system work?
The HACC and aged care service systems are designed to ensure that the target groups receive support when they need it most. You will have to make and keep appointments, travel and talk to different workers to see if you are eligible for the services. This can be frustrating. However it is worth persevering to get your entitlements.

While you are going through the assessment process, tell the services about your needs as a working carer and try and negotiate for them to fit in with you. Be assertive about appointment times and places that suit you. Fill in forms carefully and ask for assistance if you need it. Keep copies of all forms so you have a record and you can use the information for other forms.

It is important to ask for referrals to other services if the people you are speaking with don’t offer what you want in the way you want it. If there are no services available in your area let people know you need a service. Some working carers have contacted their local newspaper or Member of Parliament and this has led to improvements for them.

The steps for assessing the eligibility of the care receiver for ongoing supports are:

1. The First Assessment
An assessment is usually undertaken at the request of the care receiver, on the recommendation of a carer or concerned family member, or by request of the treating doctor.

The service co-ordinator or Aged Care Assessment Team worker usually conducts the assessment with the full involvement of the care receiver as well as family members or carers. The information given to an assessor will determine whether a person is eligible to receive a HACC or aged care service. Note that:

  • A frail older person is eligible to receive support under either the HACC or aged care programs but not both
  • A younger person with a disability will only be eligible for the HACC services. However they may be able to receive other DADHC services for people with disabilities.

The assessment will look at the care receiver’s need for assistance and their ability to undertake tasks of daily living. This may also include an Occupational Health and Safety check of the care receiver’s home for safe service delivery. Requests for support are usually prioritised according to the person’s support needs and the availability of appropriate services.

2. Case Planning/Review and Coordination

Case planning/review and co-ordination is the evaluation process of the ongoing needs of the care receiver. The review process is when the service co-ordinator decides what changes need to be made to the type of help that the service is providing to a person. This includes the development, monitoring and review of a person’s service plan and the level of support provided by the HACC or aged care service provider.

3. Case Management
Case management is the monitoringof a care receiver’s care plan after the service supports have been implemented. This process is usually undertaken by Community Options or Linkages project and refers to the assistance received by a person with complex care needs. The case manager co-ordinates the planning and delivery of services a client is receiving from more than one service provider.

You have the right to complain if a service provided is not of high quality.

For more information:

See our Fact Sheets on Respite and Complaints to Services.

Check the ADHC website for information on Dementia Advisory Services and programs for people with disabilities at www.adhc.nsw.gov.au.
Read the article on the Gateway website: 'Traversing the residential aged care path'

Carer Strategies

Carer Recognition

The NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 (the Act) was introduced to provide recognition of carers and to establish a Carers Advisory Council.

NSW Carers Strategy

The NSW Carers Strategy recognises the valuable contribution that carers make to NSW. The Strategy focuses on five key areas.

National Carers Strategy

The National Carer Strategy contains a vision, an aim and six important priority areas for action. The strategy was developed with key stakeholders.




  • 2.7 million unpaid carers in Australia 
  • more than 770,000 carers are primary carers 
  • 300,000 carers are under the age of 24 
  • 150,000 carers are under the age of 18 
  • over 1.5 million carers are of working age (18-64) 
  • 31,600 Indigenous carers are over the age of 15 
  • 620,000 carers were born outside Australia 
  • 366,700 carers were born in non-English speaking countries 
  • 520,000 carers are over 65 years of age 

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