Keep informed about programs and services for carers.
Carer Line 1800 242 636
The Carer Line is available 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday.
The Carer Line is staffed by experienced Carer Support Officers who offer emotional support, referrals, and distribute carer specific resources and information, to carers, service providers and community members. Our Carer Support Officers understand the issues carers face and the supports carers can access in their local community.
Information and Referral
Carer Support Officers can tell you about or refer you to:
- Local carer support groups
- Respite services
- Counselling services, including the National Carer Counselling Program
- Specific support programs including the Young Carer Program, Older Parent Carer Program and Better Start Program
- Disability or illness specific organisations
- Advocacy and legal services
- Home and Community Care services
- Education and training opportunities for carers and service providers.
Resources and publications
Specialist publications and resources are also available through the Carer Line including:
- Carers NSW brochures and publications
- Carer Support Kits in a variety of different languages
- Relaxation CDs and tapes
- Illness specific information
- Fact sheets on services available to you
- Fact sheets on carer wellbeing
Many carers find caring a positive experience; however caring can also have negative effects on people. Stress, social isolation, loneliness, changes in relationships and a sense of loss are common experiences for carers.
Some people find it helpful to talk about these feelings and it may not be easy or appropriate to talk to family or friends. The Carer Line offers a safe place for carers to express their emotions. Carer Support Officers understand the impacts of caring and can provide an empathetic and non-judgemental ear. If further support is needed, a referral to the National Carer Counselling Program can be made.
As part of the 2015-2016 Federal Budget, the Australian Government announced the development of an Integrated Plan for Carer Support Services (the Plan), commencing with the launch of a national phone service and website for all carers: the Carer Gateway.
Following extensive consultation and development, a range of new services will be made available via the Carer Gateway: online, over the phone and in person.
- Online information, peer support and coaching materials are already available at www.carergateway.gov.au
- Phone counselling is already available by calling 1800 422 737 or requesting a call back at www.carergateway.gov.au
- Several types of in-person support will be available locally by calling 1800 422 737 from April 2020
For more information:
- Read Fact Sheet 1: What is the Carer Gateway?
- Read Fact Sheet 2: Carer Gateway Service Providers
- Visit the Carer Gateway website or phone the Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737
- Visit the Department of Social Services website
Tom Fink Library
The Tom Fink Library was established in 1996 in memory of Tom Fink, husband of the late Averil Fink who co-founded Carers NSW. The Library provides a free and accessible lending service for all carers. The collection contains a range of books and DVDs, including:
- Self-help material
- Personal narratives, including memoir and biography
- Mental health and psychology titles
- Books on particular conditions and disabilities
Carers can request books by contacting the Library on 1800 242 636 or [email protected] and the library will arrange free return postage at no cost to the carer. The library is also available to the general public who are welcome to browse during business hours.
Library material can be borrowed for a period of three weeks and extensions can be granted upon request.
The library is located within the Carers NSW office in North Sydney:
L10 / 213 Miller Street
For help finding books or DVDs, please telephone 02 9280 4744 or email [email protected].
Throughout the caring journey, many carers experience a range of emotions including anger, depression, anxiety, loneliness, loss and grief. Family and friends can provide an important informal support network, however by accessing professional support through counselling you will learn new strategies to help you:
- Deal with overwhelming and confusing feelings
- Better understand your experiences as a carer
- Work out your own needs and develop ways to solve problems
- Manage conflict, stress and other emotional factors
- Learn and apply healthy communication boundaries
- Build resilience and cope with change
- Improve your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing
- Cope with grief and loss and learn how to re-build when your caring role ends
- Identify support systems and be connected to services
National Carer Counselling Program
The National Carer Counselling Program (NCCP) is a short-term counselling program focusing on issues related to the caring role. Up to six counselling sessions are available to all eligible carers across NSW, including former carers whose caring role has recently ended or carers seeking additional support after a break in their caring role. Counselling can be delivered either in person, over the phone or online. Counsellors who speak languages other than English are available in some areas.
The NCCP is a carer specific program and does not address problems requiring long-term therapy or issues pre-dating the caring role.
To ensure sustainability of the NCCP, Carers NSW requests a contribution for counselling sessions, however no carer will be refused if they are unable to make a contribution.
Accessing the National Carer Counselling Program
Carers can arrange counselling sessions for themselves or give consent for someone else to make a referral on their behalf.
- Call Carers NSW Carer Line on 1800 242 636 and speak to a Carer Support Officer about your counselling needs
- A Carer Support Officer will assess your eligibility and collect some personal details
- An appropriate counsellor will be allocated to you, based on your location, counselling needs and availability
- Your counsellor will contact you directly to book your first appointment and you will receive written confirmation of the details, a consent form, an evaluation form and a statement of your rights and responsibilities.
Making a referral on behalf of someone else
- Discuss the program with the carer and obtain their consent to make a referral
- Call the Carers NSW Carer Line on 1800 242 636 to discuss the referral with a Carer Support Officer
- The Carer Support Officer will contact the carer directly to discuss eligibility for the program.
Therapeutic Counselling Groups
Therapeutic counselling groups provide carers with an opportunity to explore the emotional impact of caring in a group setting, identify ways of managing everyday life and share experiences with people who are in similar situations.
The groups run over a course of six weeks and are facilitated by professionally trained counsellors either in person or over the phone via Talk-link. The group sessions, run at the same time each week and last approximately one hour. There is no cost involved in participating in a therapeutic counselling group.
Therapeutic counselling groups focus on specific disabilities or health conditions and cover a broad range of topics to support you in your caring role. Groups can be of great value for carers and previous participants have reported a number of benefits including:
- Being able to talk freely and having a sense of connection with others who understand
- Sharing, learning and building on existing coping skills
- Sharing mutual feelings and fears
- Being accepted and a reduction in the sense of isolation
What is Talk-Link?
Talk-Link is a phone-based therapeutic counselling group delivered via teleconferencing. It enables groups of carers and trained facilitators to get together over the phone to explore challenges associated with the caring role. Talk-Link is of great value for carers with travel constraints or carers who live in rural areas.
How do I take part?
To participate in Talk-Link all you need is a landline telephone. All calls for Talk-Link are free of charge, except when calling from mobile phones. It is also recommended you organise a private space where you can talk freely and will not be disturbed.
Register your interest in a therapeutic counselling group listed below by calling the Carer Line on 1800 242 636 or emailing [email protected]
Newsletters and eNews
Stay up to date with the latest developments for carers.
Stay informed by signing up to receive Carers News, our bi-monthly printed newsletter which is delivered straight to your door.
Carers News features the latest news from inside Carers NSW, carer stories, health and wellbeing articles and regular updates on changes to services and entitlements that impact carers.
The Carers NSW eNews is a monthly newsletter for professionals interested in carer related issues.
Featuring research, policy and best practice, as well as news, publications and information on the latest industry-related training and events, the eBulletin keeps you informed of the latest developments for carers. You can sign up to the eNews online or by contacting our membership officer on [email protected] or 02 9280 4744.
Suggest content for the eNews by contacting [email protected] or 02 9280 4744.
Carers NSW produces brochures describing what we do and forms you can use to access our services or to get involved in other ways.
Carer Peer Connect Flyer
Carers NSW Online Carer Education Flyer
Find a Carer Support Group
Find where your nearest carer support group is.