Information in other languages

Carer frequently asked questions













Where can I get help with a language other than these?

Call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50. The agency or person who calls TIS is responsible for paying for the service.

English translation

What is the Carers Recognition Act?

The SA Carers Recognition Act acknowledges the valuable role of carers in supporting those they care for within the community. The Act, which includes the SA Carers Charter, was approved on 1 December 2005.

Who are carers?

The Act identifies a carer as someone who provides ongoing care and assistance to a person who has a disability (according to theDisability Services Act 1993), or a person who is frail and requires assistance to carry out everyday tasks, or a person with a chronic illness, including a mental illness as defined by the Mental Health Act 1993.

Who is not covered by the Act?

The Act does not cover people who are employed to care for someone, or who provide care as volunteers in community organisations. A carer of a child placed in care under the Children's Protection Act 1993 or similar act is only considered a carer if the child has a disability, chronic or mental illness.

What does the Act require the South Australian government to do?

Relevant SA Government departments and the organisations they fund are required to demonstrate an awareness of the Act and reflect the principles of the Carers Charter with services they provide. The Act requires service providers to consult with carers or their representatives when developing or delivering services. Relevant SA Government departments are obligated to report against the requirements of the Act annually.

What is the SA Carers Charter?

The SA Carers Charter is a schedule of the Act and sets out the principles that must guide services for carers:

  1. Carers have choices within their caring role.
  2. Carers' health and wellbeing is critical to the community.
  3. Carers play a critical role in maintaining the fabric of society.
  4. Service providers work in partnership with carers.
  5. Carers in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities need specific consideration.
  6. All children and young people have the right to enjoy life and reach their potential.
  7. Resources are available to provide timely, appropriate and adequate assistance to carers.

How does the Act help me?

The Act aims to ensure carers have the same rights, choices and opportunities as other South Australians. The Act recognises the importance of carers' health and wellbeing and that carers need to be consulted in decisions and planning that affect them.

What financial support am I entitled to as a carer?

As a carer, you may be eligible to receive financial support from Centrelink. Call Centrelink on 13 12 02 or visit your nearest Centrelink office.

How can I get a break?

A number of respite services assist carers to take time out for themselves. What type of respite suits you will depend on your caring situation and services available in your area. For more information call Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres on 1800 052 222.

Find your local carer support organisation

Other support for carers - eg counselling, support groups, advocacy, young carer programs - is provided by locally based carer support organisations. To find out which organisation services your local  area, call the Carer Advisory Line on 1800 242 636 or use the Carer Support Finder (click on the magnifying  glass image and enter your suburb or post code).

What are my rights as a working carer?

The South Australian Equal Opportunity Act 1984 makes it unlawful for anyone to be treated unfairly because of caring responsibilities, or for requirements to be set that are especially difficult for carers to meet and are unreasonable. For more information, contact the South Australian Equal Opportunity Commission on 8207 1977 or 1800 188 163 or visit their website.

How can I prove I'm a carer? Should I register somewhere?

There is no uniform assessment that makes you eligible for all services, supports and payments. Some agencies, such as Centrelink, may conduct formal assessments, others may not.

If I am not happy with a service, what can I do?

You can raise your concerns with the service provider directly. If you feel the outcome is not satisfactory, you can contact the relevant advocacy service.

  • Aged Rights Advocacy Service assists consumers of aged care services and their carers with service related issues - call 8232 5377 or 1800 700 600.
  • The Disability Advocacy and Complaints Service of SA provides information about concerns with disability services - call 8297 3500 or 1800 088 325.
  • The Office of the Public Advocate protects the interests of people with reduced mental capacity and their carers - call 8342 8200 or 1800 066 969.
  • The Welfare Rights Centre assists people dealing with Centrelink - call 8223 1338 or 1800 246 287.

If, after all reasonable steps have been taken, you are still not satisfied with the outcome of a complaint, you can contact the office of the Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner, call 8226 8666 or 1800 232 007.

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Page last updated 29 November 2016

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Department of Human Services
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