Young Carers Respite and Information Services Programme and the NDIS

What is the Young Carers Respite and Information Services Programme?

The Young Carers Respite and Information Services (Young Carers) programme assists young carers who need support to complete their secondary education or the vocational equivalent because of the demands of their caring role.

A young carer is someone aged up to 25 years who is the main provider of care and support for a parent, partner, child, relative or friend with a disability.

The programme can help young carers with respite and information services.

Respite services can be:

  • direct — respite care (care of the person with a disability), at home or in suitable alternative accommodation, during hours that suit young carers; and
  • indirect — age-appropriate activities or support that meet a young carer’s more immediate and short-term needs, such as time off to study for exams, tutoring, skills development or school holiday activities.

Young carers can also access information, advice and referral services, including referral to counselling, for support with managing the challenges of their caring role.

Services are currently provided by Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres. The Centres organise, purchase or manage respite care assistance packages, such as in-home respite care, support workers to assist carers taking a break from home, and residential respite care. The Centres also provide free and confidential information on disability and other support services available anywhere within Australia.

For more information about the programme visit the Department of Social Services website.

I’m accessing the Young Carers programme — will anything change for me with the launch of the NDIS?

You can continue to seek both direct and indirect respite support through your Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre whether you live in or outside a launch site.

The person you care for may also be able to access the Scheme if they live in one of these launch sites:

  • Hunter area, NSW;
  • Barwon area, Victoria;
  • South Australia (for children); or
  • Tasmania (for young people).

Access requirements differ from site to site. See Fact sheets and publications for more information.

If the person you care for is currently accessing a government-funded disability or mental health programme, the provider of those programmes will tell you when we’ll be in touch to complete an assessment for participation in the Scheme.

If the person you care for becomes a participant in the Scheme, supports under the programme can be included in their individual plan. You can then continue to seek supports from the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres.

If the person you care for is currently not receiving disability services, you can use the My Access Checker tool on our website to see whether they may be able to access assistance from the scheme.

What happens if the person I care for doesn’t become a participant in the Scheme?

You’ll continue to have access to the programme and receive your current level of indirect supports.

I’m a provider — what does this mean for me?

If you provide Young Carers services outside a launch site, your current funding arrangement with the Department of Social Services will continue.

If you provide services to people in a launch site who aren’t participants in the Scheme, you’ll continue to receive block funding for the provision of indirect respite supports.

If you provide services to people in a launch site who are participants in the Scheme, you would have elected to either ‘cash out’ your Young Carers funding for these participants or provide ‘in-kind’ services to them.

If you elected to ‘cash out’ your Young Carers funding for NDIS participants, your funding from the Department of Social Services would have been reduced by the amount required to service participants of the Scheme, and provided directly to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). As such, you can directly invoice the Agency for supports provided to participants in the Scheme.

Alternatively, if you elected to provide ‘in-kind’ support under your Funding Agreement with the Department of Social Services, you are required to quarantine a portion of your Young Carers funding for the exclusive use of providing Young Carer services to Scheme participants in launch site areas. You must report at least on a monthly basis to the NDIA about the supports you have provided to each Scheme participant in launch site areas (for more information please refer to the Fact sheet “Tracking supports: what it means for providers”).

Providers delivering ‘in-kind’ supports in launch sites will have their funding for Young Carers direct respite services provided directly to the NDIA from 1 July 2014. Block grant funding will remain in place for indirect supports and for Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres outside of launch sites.

Whether you provide ‘in kind’ supports or will ‘cash out’ your funding, you must register with the NDIA. See the Providers fact sheet for more information. When registered, you will be given access to the Provider Portal.

More information

  • Visit the NDIS website
  • Contact us
  • Call 1800 800 110* Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm EST
  • For people with hearing or speech loss
    • TTY: 1800 555 677
    • Speak and Listen: 1800 555 727
  • For people who need help with English
    • TIS: 131 450

*1800 calls are free from fixed lines; however calls from mobiles may be charged.

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Published Date: 

18 November 2013