Nearly three-quarters of a million unpaid carers will receive additional respite, employment and training opportunities, supporting their vital roles of caring for vulnerable loved ones during the pandemic.
Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Anthony Carbines on Saturday announced 55 respite projects will share in $9.5 million of additional funding, while $2 million will be allocated to help unpaid carers access employment and training.
“Carers have done an incredibly difficult job keeping their loved ones safe through the pandemic – and we’re supporting them to take some time off to keep themselves well,” Carbines said.
“Whether it’s a time to have a rest, attend some appointments or catch up with others at a morning tea, exercise class or peer support services, these initiatives make a real difference in the lives of our dedicated carers.”
The respite funding will see more opportunities for Victorian carers to just take a break or valuable time for themselves to engage in work, study, exercise or social activities.
Carbines said a particularly important consideration was assisting those keen to return to paid employment with the means and encouragement to do so.
“This ensures opportunities are available to those wanting to return to work, as getting back into the workforce can be a real challenge for carers, who often spend years caring full time for a loved one,” he said.
The $2 million Carers Employment Support Program is delivering grants to 22 organisations and partnerships across the state.
The program will help Victorian unpaid carers, including those from multicultural and Aboriginal comminities, to access employment, mentoring support and vocational training.
This funding package follows the allocation of $2.6 million for the Supporting Carers Locally Grants Program and the Statewide Partnership Grants Program announced in December.
Across Victoria, more than 726,000 carers give their time and effort to look after a family member or friend who needs them, whether due to chronic disease, mental illness, disability or old age.
The list of grant recipients is available here.