Carers & Families

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres (CRCCs): Short-Term and Emergency Respite for Unpaid Carers

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres (CRCCs) aim to support caring relationships by facilitating access to information, and respite care for the people they care for. The Inner West Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre (IWCRCC) have capacity to assist unpaid carers with short term and emergency respite. Although CRCC’s should not be part of a patient’s discharge plan, CRCC will endeavour to offer support to patients, who have an unpaid carer; or if the patient is a carer. I have attached a reference list which summarises the eligibility.

Wesley Mission’s Inner West Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre (CRCC) Program.
Funded Region: Inner West Council; Burwood Council; Canada Bay Council; Canterbury – Bankstown Council

What is Respite?
• Respite is short term care that allows the Carer to have a break from their caring role
• Respite is caring for the person you look after in your home environment while you take a rest
• It may also mean taking the person you care for out for the day
• Respite can also mean providing care in times of emergency if a carer is hospitalised or ill
• Respite can be a few hours, a day, a night or longer if in a care facility
• Is provided in a way that suits individual needs and circumstances
• For long-term services we refer to other agencies by assisting to make contact, make guided referrals, or advocate on their behalf.

Who is a Carer?
• A Carer is a family member, friend or neighbour who provides regular and sustained care for someone who is frail aged, someone who has a disability, a chronic condition or a mental illness
• They may live with the person they care for and/or have a significant responsibility for their care and support (care recipient)

How does Respite work?
• Carer or referring agency may ring (or email) for initial Intake and Assessment. The needs of the carer are clarified during the intake process.
• Respite requests are prioritised due to high demand
• Direct support is provided by brokered agency staff
• Individual care plan is put together and sent to carer with relevant information about the services
• If changes or extension required, CRCC needs to be informed and situation will be re-assessed
• Each respite request is assessed on an individual needs basis
• IW CRCC do not have a waiting list

Who is eligible?
• Carers of the frail aged (65 and over or 50 if indigenous)
• Carers of people with dementia
• Ageing Carers (65 and over or 50 if indigenous) looking after people with disabilities (adult or child)
• Carers of people with disabilities including mental illness, autism and intellectual disability
• Carers of younger people under 30 with moderate, severe or profound disabilities who are living at home
• Carers of people with a terminal illness in need of end stage palliative care
• Young Carers under the age of 18

What kind of assistance is available?
• Short term or planned respite: If a carer is chronically ill or the carer is planning to have a break respite can be provided when the usual carer is unable to provide care (24 hour care is only provided in emergency situations and for a short time only while other resources are found).
• Emergency Respite: If a carer goes to hospital and needs respite in a medical or other emergency to look after the person they care for (After hours access by phone is possible)

What kind of assistance is available?
• Personal Care Assistance: can be provided to the person requiring care, relieving the carer for a short period of time
• Domestic Assistance: can be provided when the carer is unwell, and needing short term support
• In-Home Respite: can be provided in the home to relieve the carer of their caring role for a short period of time and organised to suit the individual needs of the carer and care recipient
• Community Respite: assistance to access community activities either group or individual
• Vacation Care: If a carer is looking after a child with a disability, and does not have a NDIS package in place, the carer may need extra support during the school holidays, then respite is available depending on budget restrictions
• Residential Respite: If a carer needs support with locating and arranging residential respite in a facility (Aged). Accessing residential facilities depends on availability and suitability
• Social support and Carer education: Referral to social support groups for carers, recreational activities and or assistance with respite to attend carer education workshops
• Transportation: In some situations we can also assist with Transportation as necessary.

How do I access Respite?
• Self-Referral
• Health Services (hospitals and community)
• Aged-care Assessment Teams
• Service providers (NGOs)
• By phoning the free call number: 1800 052 222 (02 9641 7081) (mobiles charged at applicable rates)
• By emailing: [email protected]
• The Respite service is accessible 24hrs a day, seven days a week

How much does the service cost?
• Respite is mostly free of charge at this point in time (except for possible contributions from carers for residential respite or other situations the CRCC might see necessary)
• Carers may be requested to financially contribute but will not be refused services, due to financial hardship
• Services depend on current budget restrictions and priority groups as directed by funding departments

Who Funds CRCC?
• Federal Funding – Department of Social Services

Please do not hesitate to contact the IWCRCC if you would like to speak to any staff member for additional information, or would like flyers posted out to your department.

New Carer Gateway Counslling Service

The Carer Gateway Counselling Service, a new free phone counselling service for carers that Catholic Care is piloting. Please refer carers to us for counselling now that our experienced team are providing a pilot service.
You can call the service 8am to 6pm weekdays through the Carer Gateway Call Centre on 1800 422 737.

Young Carer Drive Program - Carers NSW Australia

Do you want to be a volunteer driving mentor? Then join the YC Drive Program today!
- Are you over 25 years of age?
- Are you keen to help a young person gain their licence?
- Have you held an unrestricted NSW Driver Licence for the past two years?
- Do you have one-two hours to spare each week?
YC Drive would love to hear from you! Training, support and car provided.

See flyer for more information....


A new, national Integrated Carer Support Service (ICSS) will commence rollout from September 2019. A range of online and in person services will be available to carers via the Carer Gateway website or by calling 1800 422 737.


My Community Matters - EOI

Carers NSW is inviting carers and carer groups to propose a project to support carers in their local area.
Carers NSW is able to support carers with a viable, innovative and competitive idea to apply for funding as part of the NSW Government’s My Community Project.

My Community Project is a new initiative by the NSW Government to improve the wellbeing of people and communities in NSW. People and groups can participate by submitting project ideas worth between $20,000 and $200,000 and voting for their preferred projects in their electorate.

Funding will be distributed equally across all 93 NSW electorates, and grants will be awarded on a competitive basis by popular vote.

Fact sheets providing further detail on this opportunity and how to express your interest in working with Carers NSW are attached.
If you have a project idea for your local community that requires funding to deliver, and you would like to work with Carers NSW to apply for funding, we invite you to complete our Expression of Interest form, available online at and attached in hard copy.
An information session about this opportunity will be held in the Carers NSW North Sydney office on Thursday 28 March 2019 between 12pm and 1pm. Carers can attend in person or participate via teleconference using Zoom software. The Zoom teleconference will also be recorded for viewing after the live session.
• If you would like to attend in person, please RSVP by Monday 25 March 2019 to [email protected] or on (02) 9280 4744
• If you would like to participate via Zoom, visit If the link does not work, enter the Meeting ID: 478-202-171. The password is Info1.
If you have any questions about this opportunity, or would like to receive a recording of the information session, please contact the Carers NSW Policy Team at [email protected] or on (02) 9280 4744.