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Media Release by Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion

Funding available for new respite services

The supply of respite places is set to increase with the Australian Government encouraging non-government organisations (NGO’s) to apply for funding to build their capacity to deliver respite services.

The Minister for Community Services, Senator Nigel Scullion, said tenders are now open for the $126.9 million National Respite Development Fund for NGO’s to build or expand new and innovative respite services.

‘The Australian Government recognises the valuable role played by family members or friends who care for dependent people at home,’ Senator Scullion said.

‘We understand how important it is to support carers of people with a severe mental illness, intellectual disability and older carers of people with disability to take a break from their caring role through the provision of appropriate and flexible respite.

‘The funding guidelines are not prescriptive and different types of respite services may be funded, including in-home respite, out of home respite and short term residential programs such as group homes and supervised holiday options.

‘Organisations are invited to apply for funding to establish additional respite services, which will increase availability in metropolitan, rural and remote regions across Australia.

‘These respite services will also enable carers, and the people they care for, to access information and care tailored to their individual needs and circumstances,’ Senator Scullion said

The Mental Health National Respite Development Fund is a component of the Mental Health Respite Program. The Mental Health Respite Program is an initiative that forms part of the Government’s $1.9 billion commitment to the Council of Australian Government National Action Plan on Mental Health 2006-2010.

Funding will also be drawn from the new Respite for Older Carers of Children with Disability initiative which is part of the Government’s recent $1.8 billion Disability Assistance Package.

Applications close on Friday 3 August 2007, and can be obtained from the FaCSIA website or by calling 1800 733 413.