Recognition of carers

Supporting carers is the responsibility of all levels of governments and the community as a whole. The NSW Government is committed to contributing to carers achieving quality of life for themselves and for the people they support.

Who is a carer?

A carer provides ongoing, unpaid support to a family member, neighbour or friend who needs help because of disability, terminal illness, chronic illness, mental illness and/or ageing. Anyone can become a carer, any time.

A person is not a carer if they care for a person as a paid employee, a volunteer or as part of education or training.

NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010

Carer policy, planning and action across the NSW Government and NSW Health, including the Local Health Districts and Pillar organisations, is guided by the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010.

The NSW Carers (Recognition) Act requires that all public sector agency staff including NSW Health staff:

  • are aware of, and understand the NSW Carers Charter
  • consult with carers, or organisations that represent carers, on policy that may affect them
  • have human resource policy that caters to and considers the needs of the workforce who are carers.

In addition, as a human service agency, NSW Health staff must reflect the thirteen principles of the Charter in their work. The principles of the NSW Carers Charter must inform the way staff, interact with carers.

How does NSW Health meets its obligations to carers under the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act?

The  NSW Health Recognition and Support for Carers: Key Directions 2018-2020 (the Key Directions) is designed to provide guidance on responding to the needs of carers across the NSW public health system.
Development of the Key Directions also fulfils NSW Health’s obligations under the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 (the Act) which requires public sector agencies, including NSW Health, to recognise and value carers and ensure they are consulted on policy matters that impact on them. 
Aligning with the requirements of the Act, the Key Directions will guide NSW Health to:
  •  Inform and guide its employees to recognise and support carers
  • Value and engage with carers as partners in care
  • Support employees who have caring responsibilities.  

Actions under the Key Directions are to reflect the principles of:

  • Inclusion: the work undertaken to respond to the needs of carers acknowledges and respects the diversity of all carers including Aboriginal people, multicultural communities, refugees, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and young carers;
  • Collaboration: the expertise of carers is valued and used to achieve better and enduring change for carers; and
  • Evidence: to support the delivery of services informed by good practice actions are monitored and evaluated. 

NSW Health reports annually on activities delivered under the Key Directions that ensure recognition and support for carers.

NSW Carers (Recognition) Act resources

NSW Carers Strategy 2014 – 2019

The NSW Carers Strategy is a plan to improve the position of carers in NSW. The Strategy will be implemented by government, non-government organisations and businesses in new partnerships designed to deliver better services and supports for carers. It provides a broader context for ongoing implementation of the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010.

NSW Health is leading and supporting projects under the priority areas of Health and Wellbeing, Information and Community Awareness and Carer Engagement.

Fact sheet – NSW Carers Strategy 2014 - 2019 [PDF]

Further information is available from the Primary and Community Care Unit on (02) 9391 9843.​​​

Current as at: Friday 15 June 2018
Contact page owner: Health and Social Policy