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NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010

The purpose of the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 is to enact a Carers Charter to raise awareness and recognise the role and valuable contribution of carers to our community and to the people they care for.

The NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 (the Act):

NSW Carers Charter

The NSW Carers Charter establishes 13 key principles that are intended to inform the work of public sector agencies in NSW:

1. Carers make a valuable contribution to the community

(a) NSW recognises the valuable social and economic contribution that carers make to the community.

(b) Carers should have the same rights, choices and opportunities as other Australians.

(c) Carers’ unique knowledge and experience should be acknowledged and recognised.

(d) The relationship between carers and the people they care for should be respected.

2. Carers’ health and well-being is important

(a) Carers should be supported to enjoy optimum health and well-being and to participate in family, social and community life, employment and education.

(b) Carers should be supported to balance their caring role with other roles, such as work and education.

3. Carers are diverse and have individual needs within and beyond their caring role

(a) The diverse needs of carers should be acknowledged and recognised in policy, programs and service delivery, taking into consideration culture and language, age, disability, religion, socio-economic status, place of residence, gender identity and sexual orientation.

(b) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, heritage and concepts of caring should be respected and valued.

(c) The additional challenges faced by carers who live in rural and remote areas should be acknowledged and recognised.

(d) Children and young people who are carers should be supported to reach their full potential.

4. Carers are partners in care

(a) The choices, views and needs of carers and of the people they care for should be taken into account in the assessment, planning, delivery and review of services provided to the people they care for.

(b) Carers should be referred to, and assisted to access, appropriate supports and services.

(c) Support for carers should be timely, responsive, appropriate and accessible.

Obligations for public sector agencies

The NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 establishes obligations for public sector agencies, and additional obligations for human service agencies. Public sector agencies include Local Health Districts, NSW Government agencies, local councils, state-owned corporations, Divisions of the Government Service and the NSW Police Force. Human service agencies are public sector agencies that provide services directed at carers or persons being cared for by carers.

Under the Act, public sector agencies must ensure that staff and agents of the agency have an awareness and understanding of the NSW Carers Charter. Public sector agencies must consult with carers or bodies representing carers when developing policies that impact upon carers. The internal human resources policies of public sector agencies must be developed with due regard to the NSW Carers Charter.

Human service agencies have additional obligations under the Act. Human service agencies must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the agency, staff, and agents take action to reflect the NSW Carers Charter. Human service agencies also have reporting obligations under the Act.