What is a Carer Representative?
A Carer Representative is a carer who represents the carers’ perspective to provide a stronger carers’ voice and influence change for carers in Western Australia. Carers have issues and needs distinct and separate from those of other health consumers. The involvement of carers and consumers in decision making that affects their lives is fundamental to improving support and service options.
Carer representatives have a responsibility to:
- Represent the carer perspective from a holistic rather than an a purely individual perspective
- Undertake appropriate preparation to actively participate in committee meetings and where necessary seek broader input to specific issues or questions that are raised by the committee
- Provide feedback to Carers WA to ensure that Carers WA is kept informed of their participation and is kept abreast of emerging carer issues
- Respect confidentiality of information presented at meetings
Carer Representatives have the opportunity to:
- Communicate the carer perspective to clinicians and decision makers
- Positively influence health and mental health policy and make a difference to the well being of other carers
- Work with other carer representatives and Carers WA staff to develop advocacy skills and provide a unified voice on carer issues.
- Develop a network of peers, be heard and become involved.
What do I need to become a Carer Representative?
- A passion for ensuring the carer perspective is heard
- A desire to make a difference
- Good interpersonal and communication skills
- A good working knowledge of the WA health system
- A few hours per month to prepare for and attend meetings