Integrated Carer Support Services Evaluation

Client: Australian Department of Social Services

The Australian Government provides a range of support services for carers, but these largely consist of separate and disconnected services that focus on addressing immediate rather than long term needs of carers. The Australian Government is seeking to develop a system that focuses on prevention and support through the Integrated Carer Support System (ICSS). This survey will help the Department of Social Services to better understand what is needed from the new system.

(Please click on the headings below to reveal further information.)

The Department of Social Services has engaged the Australian National University (ANU) to design the survey and the Social Research Centre to conduct the survey.

You have been invited to participate in the research because our records show that you are currently receiving Carer Payment or Carer Allowance. The survey is voluntary. You can choose not to take part in the research at any time and it will not affect any government assistance or income support you receive.

If you are chosen to participate, you will be sent an email invitation to do the survey online using your computer, mobile or tablet.

The survey will take about 20 minutes of your time and will be conducted from May 2020.

We will also ask your consent for administrative data about what services you use and how often, already collected or held by the Department, will be linked to your survey responses but not in a way that would identify you. We will ask for this consent separately to the survey.

A report on the survey results will be produced for the Department of Social Services and a summary will be made available to interested participants. Further information on data sharing and the data sharing policies can be found on the Australian Government Services Australia website

This research provides you with an opportunity to have your say on the types of support services you access. These questions have implications on the type and level of assistance carers receive, and your input will help to improve this process for future use.

We do not anticipate any risks to taking part in the current study. You only need to answer questions if you feel comfortable and safe to do so. If at any stage in the research you feel distressed or in need of assistance, please get in touch with the research team and we will assist you as best we can. Involvement in this research will in no way impact on any employment assistance you are receiving.

All information and data associated with the survey will be confidential and handled in accordance with relevant privacy legislation. The SRC complies with the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), a copy of the policy can be found here.

Your personal information will not be disclosed to any other person or body unless you consent, or it is required by law. Individuals who take part in the survey will not be identified in any report or publication.

All de-identified information collected and analysed for the study will be returned to the Department of Social Services and will remain confidential and be stored securely.

All survey participants will maintain their existing rights to gain access to, and correct information and data collected by the Department.

The survey may be upsetting to some participants, it covers topics such as loneliness, personal wellbeing, and the burden of caring. If you are feeling uncomfortable during the survey, you can choose to stop the survey at any time. You can skip any questions if you prefer not to answer.

If you are feeling worried or anxious, please seek help from your family, friends or health professionals. Alternatively, there is free counselling available 24 hours a day by phone through Lifeline on 13 11 14.

If you would like to talk to someone about any issues you might be facing you can contact:

If you have been affected by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, please contact one of the agencies above if you have concerns about your mental health, or contact Services Australia for other types of assistance.

For information about the research project, please contact the Department of Social Services Carer Gateway on carergateway.gov.au or call 1800 422 737.

For information about the survey, or you would like to opt out of the study, please call the Social Research Centre on 1800 023 040 or email carers@srcentre.com.au.

If you have concerns about privacy issues in relation to the survey, you can contact the Social Research Centre by emailing privacy@srcentre.com.au or call (03) 9236 8500