Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

$2 m for carers of young people to access respite

The Australian Government will provide $2.1 million to give carers of young people access to emergency, unplanned respite care.

The respite funding will support a further 2,000 carers of young people with a severe or profound disability during 2008-09.

Respite care programs are essential to relieve the burden on carers by giving them a break. Short-term respite care is especially important for carers when circumstances change unexpectedly or emergencies arise.

Carers are unsung, local heroes who make enormous personal sacrifices. These extra respite places will help families and carers cope with the stress of their often relentless caring duties.

Many of them undertake around-the-clock care for relatives and friends and make extraordinary personal and lifestyle sacrifices.

The expanded emergency places will cater both for the needs of individual carers and those in their care.

This could include staying overnight in a respite cottage, some in-home care, or a few hours enjoying recreational activities.

It will be provided through the Respite Support for Carers of Young People with a Severe or Profound Disability Program, which is delivered through Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres.