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Understanding the Carer Recognition Act 2004

What is the Carer Recognition Act 2004 

The Carers Recognition Act is an important piece of legislation passed in 2004 that was essentially developed in response to calls from carers for greater recognition and consideration by service providers, giving carers a real voice for the first time. The act aims to change the way we think about and engage with carers, by including carers as partners in care and acknowledging the knowledge and insight they may have about the care recipient.

The West Australian Carers Charter

Within the Act is the Carers Charter. The Carers Charter outlines how carers should be treated and their rights along with their involvement in delivering services that affect them and their caring role. The Charter states:

  1. Carers must be treated with respect and dignity.
  2. The role of carers must be recognised by including carers in the assessment, planning, delivery and review of services that impact on them.
  3. The views and needs of carers must be taken into account with the views, needs and best interests of people receiving care when decisions are made that impact on carers.
  4. Complaints made by carers in relation to services that impact on them and the role of carers must be given due attention and consideration.

What does it mean for carers?

One of the greatest benefits of the Act is that is formally recognises carers as key partners in the delivery of care, promoting collaboration with service providers. The Act acknowledges that carers bring to the table valuable information and insight that can not be ignored. The Carers Charter in particular, empowers carers to be involved in decision making and ensures their views are taken into account.

If a carer feels that a service provider isn’t acting in accordance of the Carer Charter, the Act gives them the ability to fairly raise concerns and complaints with the relevant departments, such as the Health and Disability Service Complaint Office.

Wanting more information? Read the Carer Recognition Act 2004 here