A new national service is now available as part of the federal government’s $550 million commitment to boosting carer support announced in last year’s budget.

Carer Gateway has been providing phone counselling, online peer support and educational resources for carers since July.

But from April carers will be able to access support and services directly through a network of Carer Gateway Service Providers in what’s been described as the biggest reform to way carers are suppored in ten years.

New services include carer support planning, financial support packages, counselling and peer support,   emergency respite and help navigating local services.

The free resource is available to anyone caring for a family member or friend, including those living with a disability or is frail because of age.

More important now than ever

The Benevolent society, which will deliver services in metropolitan Sydney, says the gateway is more important than ever before in the midst of challenging times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Carer Gateway provides practical advice and support, with phone and online options available which will prove even more important given we are all spending more time at home,” Chief Executive Jo Toohey says.

Elena Katrakis, CEO of Carers NSW which will be providing services in the Hunter, New England and central and north regions, says the Gateway provides practical advice and support.

“Getting help early can make a big difference to a carer’s life, reducing carer stress and improving wellbeing,” she said.

“Carer Gateway is focussed on early intervention services to ensure carers get the support they need.”

Some in-person services may be affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Carers can call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 (Monday – Friday, 8am – 6pm) or visit www.carergateway.gov.au.

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