Appendix B – Implementation of the Tasmanian Carer Action Plan 2017-2020 – Status of Actions

The first Tasmanian Carer Action Plan 2017-2020 included 22 actions as  highlighted in the table on the following page. Seven actions have been  completed and the continuing actions are captured below.

Promote and celebrate carer’s  valuable contribution to our community

[Previous  Actions: 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3]

This includes the peak body and other funding provided to CTAS and MHFFT; annual  promotion of National Carers Week, hosting internal and external events; and  identifying additional opportunities to publicise and acknowledge carers in our  community. This will also include promoting the Carer Gateway in publications  (such as Concession Guide and Seniors Card Directory) and through links from  our websites.

Raise awareness of carers in our community to assist  in the early identification and recognition of carers.

[Previous  Actions: 1.6, 1.7, 2.2 and 2.3]

This  includes the current State Service Carer Toolkit and Flexible Work Policy;  TasTAFE Student Carer Policy and DoE Student Re-Engagement policy. It will also  include any outcomes from State Service Review and enhancements to the Flexible  Work policies as a result of the COVID-19 experience.

Ensure carers can access easy-to-understand  information, advice and support from our frontline services.

[Previous  Actions: 2.1, 2.4 and 2.5]

Feedback  on problems or gaps in information will be encouraged through a dedicated Communities  Tasmania carer email inbox. The annual Forum (see action 2.2) will also provide  an opportunity for feedback on information and services.

Ensure carer issues are considered in a range of  Government and Ministerial forums. Establish, maintain and support effective  communication networks.

The  Carer Issues Reference Group (CIRG) will meet twice a year and will also participate  in the annual Carer Forum. The Forum outcomes will be reported to Cabinet and  discussed at CIRG, PDAC and Ministerial Disability Consultative Group (MDCG)  meetings.

[Previous  Actions: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3. and 3.4]

Implementation of the Tasmanian Carer Action Plan 2017-2020 – Status of Actions

Objective 1 – Increase the level of recognition of carers

Action (and responsible agency) Status February 2021

1.1 Support Carers Tasmania and MHCTas (now MHFFT)  to raise community awareness of carers, including the valuable contribution  they make and the challenges they face.

Communities  Tasmania and DoH

This action is ongoing and is captured in the Service Map.

Peak body and other funding provided by Communities Tasmania (CTAS) and DoH (MHFFT).

1.2 Organise annual Department sponsored events  during Carers Week to recognise employees who have caring responsibilities and  celebrate carers in the community.

Communities Tasmania and DoH

This action is ongoing and is captured in the Service Map.

1.3 Promote Carers Week on the DPAC [now Communities Tasmania] website and encourage other departments to also promote Carers Week.

Communities Tasmania

This action is ongoing and is captured in the Service Map. See also actions 1.2 and 1.4.

1.4 Implement the DoE Attendance Policy and Process to help schools identify when caring responsibilities are the reason for a student’s unexplained absence from school.

DoE

COMPLETED

DoE’s Attendance Policy and Procedure was revised in 2017.

1.5 Review the definition of carer in the Carer Policy, in consultation with key agencies and community organisations, so all carers affected by the Carer Policy see themselves and their role in the definition.

Communities Tasmania

COMPLETED

New definition in use for 2021-2024 Action Plan.

1.6 As part of the Diversity and Inclusion Policy  and Framework, monitor activities that promote awareness of caring  responsibilities Tasmanian State Service employees and officers may have.

DPAC

This action is ongoing and is captured in the Service Map.  See also actions 2.3 and 2.4.

1.7 Work with frontline Government services that  engage with carers to explore how they can embed awareness of carer needs, and  how these differ across diverse groups of carers.

Communities Tasmania

This action is ongoing and is captured in the Service Map. See also Action 1.3  (Forum).

Objective 2 – Improve the level of support and services to carers

Action (and responsible agency) Status February 2021

2.1 On an annual basis, continue to work with  Carers Tasmania and other key carer support organisations to find ways to  ensure carers know about available supports and services.

Communities Tasmania and DoH

This action is  ongoing and is captured in the Service Map.
See also Action 1.3  (Forum).

2.2 Ensure Tasmanian State Service employees/officers  with caring responsibilities and their colleagues have access to contemporary  and relevant resources that support flexible workplaces.

DPAC (SSMO)

This action is  ongoing and is captured in the Service Map. See also Action 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5.

Work had been undertaken on a draft TSS  Workplace Flexibility Policy. The focus of this work during COVID-19 was on the  development of a range of relevant resources to support employees with caring  responsibilities (ie Information Guide – Employment Arrangements, Workforce  Management and Leave during COVID-19), all of which support flexible  workplaces.

Workplace Flexibility also addressed in recent COVID Safe  Workplaces in the TSS – A Framework for Transitioning to the New Normal (September  2020).

Further work will be undertaken on reviewing Workplace Flexibility draft post-COVID-19.

2.3 Develop a Carers’ Toolkit for Tasmanian State  Service employees, officers and managers that provides guidance about work  arrangements and support.

DPAC (SSMO)

COMPLETED

State Service Management Office developed  the Carers Toolkit –  Supporting Carers in the State Service launched in Carers Week 2019.

2.4 Work with the Carer Issues Reference Group to  identify gaps and avenues for better promotion of supports that are available  to carers.

Communities Tasmania / All members

This action is  ongoing and is captured in the Service Map. See also Action 1.1 (Governance) Action 1.3. (Forum)

2.5 Continue to administer and expand the  Companion Card program.

Communities Tasmania

This action is ongoing and is captured in the  Service Map.

2.6 Develop a Child and Student Wellbeing Strategy  for release in 2018.

DoE

COMPLETED

The Child  and Student Wellbeing Strategy was launched in 2018.

Throughout 2020 DoE’s focus has been supporting the wellbeing of all students, and especially vulnerable cohorts, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2.7 Provide additional professional support staff  (14.8 additional Full Time Equivalents over four years) to support the health,  wellbeing and learning needs of Tasmanian students, including student carers.  This includes $6.9 million over four years for additional speech and language  pathologists, school psychologists, and social workers in Tasmanian Government  schools.

DoE

COMPLETED

The additional funded  professional support staff were recruited as a result of the 2017-2018 State  Budget.

2.8 Build and extend successful student  re-engagement programs delivered by DoE. $5 million is allocated over four  years.

DoE

This action is ongoing and is captured in the Service Map.

2.9 Seek advice from the  Carer Issues Reference Group (CIRG) on how information that is timely, simple  and free of jargon can reach carers.

All CIRG members

This action is  ongoing and is captured in the Service Map.
See also Action 1.3 (Forum).

2.10 Through Tasmania’s Active Ageing Plan  2017-2022 fund the Council on the Ageing Tasmania (COTA) to deliver initiatives  to improve digital inclusion for older Tasmanians.

Communities  Tasmania

COMPLETED

In 2017 COTA Tasmania  received a Tasmanian Government Active Ageing grant to survey digital literacy  programs and develop flyers that advertised programs in ten areas around  Tasmania: COTA also conducted a volunteer program to improve digital  inclusion for older Tasmanians.

2.11 Continue to recognise  carers as a target group within the Training and Work Pathways Program (TWPP),  which aims to expand and sustain learning opportunities and employment options  for disadvantaged Tasmanians.

State Growth

COMPLETED

Carers  Tasmania’s Care to Work project was funded through the 2018-19 TWPP.  This was based on a program that had run in the Northern Territory. It  supported ten Tasmanian carers to access education and training that recognised  existing knowledge and skills, to provide a supported pathway to help resolve  present skills shortages in the disability and aged care sectors. Of these  participants, seven gained a Certificate III in Individual Support and three  gained a Statement of Attainment.

People with caring  responsibilities were also an eligible target group under the 2020 TWPP.

Carers who have lost their job or who wish to undertake vocational education and training may be eligible for subsidised training through Skills Tasmania’s funding programs.

Objective 3 – Involve carers in the development and evaluation  of policies, programs of services that affect them and their caring role

Action (and responsible agency) Status February 2021

3.1 Continue to fund and work with community  sector organisations to build carer capacity and opportunities for carers to  engage with government (departments and Ministers/MPs).

Communities Tasmania and DoH

This action is  ongoing and is captured in the Service Map.
See also Action 1.3  (Forum).

3.2 Coordinate the Carer Issues Reference Group  (CIRG) to ensure that the Tasmanian and Australian Governments, and key carer  support and advocacy bodies, can share information and respond collaboratively  to key issues affecting Tasmanian carers.

Communities Tasmania

This action is ongoing and is captured in the  Service Map
CIRG has met six times – August 2017; June 2018;  March 2019; November 2019; August 2020; February 2021.

3.3 Audit how government engages with carers, to  identify opportunities to better promote the accessibility of existing  engagement mechanisms, and highlight areas that require more engagement.

Communities Tasmania/All agencies

This action is  ongoing and is captured in the Service Map. See also Action 1.3 (Forum).

3.4 Coordinate the Premier’s Disability Advisory  Council (PDAC) and the Ministerial Disability Advisory Council (MDAC) with  ongoing membership from carer representatives.

Communities Tasmania (CSR and HDCS)

This action is  ongoing and is captured in the Service Map.
See also Action 1.3 (Forum).

PDAC meets twice a year with Premier as Chair  and the Minister for Disability Services and Community Development also  attending.

MDAC’s final meeting was in June 2020. It was replaced by the MDCG which met for the first time in December 2020. The MDCG provides an opportunity for the Minister for Disability Services and Community Development to consult with, and be advised by, a broad range of stakeholders in relation to Tasmanian
and national disability services related policy and program matters and the experience of people with disability, their carers and families in Tasmania.

« PREVIOUS

NEXT »