UnitingCare welcomes new strategy to support the aged care workforce
UnitingCare Australia has welcomed the fourteen Strategic Actions announced today by Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt, as part of A Matter of Care: The Aged Care Workforce Strategy.
The actions, which form part of the broader Strategy, aim to support investment in workforce planning, creation of job pathways and career progression, support for leadership across the industry at all levels and strategies to attract and retain skilled workers into the sector.
UnitingCare Australia has welcomed the introduction of Cathy McGowan’s private member’s bill, seeking to establish a new Social Security Commission that would introduce greater transparency and integrity into the setting of minimum levels for social security payments.
“Ensuring our social safety net provides adequate support for people in need is integral to addressing social inequality and allowing people to live in dignity”, said Claerwen Little, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.
“Independent scrutiny of payment levels is well overdue, and it is time that attention is focussed on ensuring that our safety net can adequately provide for those most in need”, said Ms Little.
UnitingCare Australia has previously advocated for the establishment of an independent commission to develop evidence-based benchmarks to ensure that income support payments are adequate for people to live a decent life.
Up to 10% of older Australians could experience Elder Abuse this year.
On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2018, UnitingCare Australia acknowledges the need for greater awareness of the prevalence of elder abuse in our community and our shared responsibility to look out for each other.
It is likely that between 2% and 10% of older Australians experience elder abuse in any given year, and the prevalence of neglect is possibly higher. This figure indicates that we need to do more to strengthen the connections that build safety and security within our community.
 Kaspiew, R., Carson, R., & Rhoades, H. (2015). (Research Report No. 35). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.
Ensuring every child’s, a winner in the birth lottery
This week is National Families Week and the aim is to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society.
When it comes to families, the Government’s Budget makes it clear that it sees the provision of incentives for those earning wages as more important than providing a liveable level of income support to those who are under- or un-employed.
“This leaves the future of children overly dependent on the birth lottery” says Claerwen Little, National Director of UnitingCare Australia. We know that there is a social gradient in child health and child development, with those at the bottom of the scale doing worst and being most in need of increasingly expensive and difficult interventions to reduce the impact of adversity as they age.
A stronger economy for the haves, but little hope for the have nots
UnitingCare Australia tonight welcomes the government’s commitment to older Australians and their care. The extra 14,000 home-care packages go some way to relieving the pain for those 105,000 people still waiting for support. The many other measures in More Choices for a Longer Life package such as the rural and remote initiatives, indigenous funding, investment in mental health services, and the $50 million Quality Care Fund are all positive and reflect the growing ageing demographic in the community.
A healthy budget means everyone should benefit
On Tuesday the Turnbull Government will release its 2018-19 Budget. With an expected windfall in revenue this is the time to direct spending to the people most in need.
Inequality is growing in Australia with over 3 million people living below the poverty line. UnitingCare Australia calls on the Federal Government to use the Budget funds to invest in programs and services that support individuals and families that are struggling.
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
UnitingCare Australia congratulates the Turnbull Government and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt for creating the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. This is a step in the right direction for a country that needs to strengthen the provisions around caring for all of us as we age.
This morning Minister Wyatt visited Resthaven – a member of the UnitingCare Australia network of services – to announce a number of responses to last year’s Carnell-Paterson report on Quality Regulation in Aged Care. The Government has also accepted recommendations to increase transparency around quality for consumers, and to appoint a Chief Clinical Advisor to review certain clinical decisions in residential care.
UnitingCare National Director Claerwen Little said “UnitingCare Australia believes the creation of an Australian Aged Care Commission with responsibilities, including quality improvement and complaints management, has the potential to be a positive and effective way to improve quality and consumer protection arrangements for aged care residents.
“We have been increasingly concerned about the anxiety that negative coverage creates for residents and families, as well as the stress that it creates for our staff. This is the first step in re-establishing confidence in a system which, by and large, works well.
“We look forward to working with the Government to ensure that these measures effectively complement the expertise within the sector. Creating a single agency can promote efficiency in the regulatory system. It is critical however that it all areas are properly resourced, with assurance that field staff have the skills and experience for the job.
“Every older person who needs care and support, whether at home or in a residential facility, should have confidence that the services they receive are high quality and represent value for money. High quality care must be accessible regardless of a person’s financial and personal resources, where they live, or their cultural background” said Ms Little.