UnitingCare Australia facilitates social investment through advocating for policies and services that strengthen people’s capacities to participate in society to their full potential. We believe that economic policies should similarly reflect this focus on social investment to achieve a strong and thriving Australia.

UnitingCare Australia acknowledges the Australian Government’s recognition of the need to support and sustain the work of carers through the Integrated Plan for Carer Support Services. We note that the draft Service Delivery Model outlines the way support is proposed to be delivered to carers in the future.  UnitingCare Australia in general supports the draft Service Delivery Model with a number of recommendations that will ensure the Model provides the best support for all.

Supplementary Submission

In light of the Budget changes, UnitingCare Australia, on behalf of the UnitingCare Aged Care Network (the Network), makes the following supplementary submission, noting it is of relevance to points b, d and e of the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference.

UnitingCare Australia has welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the Committee’s Inquiry into the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Youth Jobs Path: Prepare, Trial, Hire) Bill 2016 (Youth Jobs PaTH Bill).

UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Productivity Commission’s Preliminary Findings Report covering the topic of Introducing Competition and Informed User Choice into Human Services: Identifying Sectors for Reform.

UnitingCare Australia's feedback to the Education and Employment Legislation Committee on the Senate Inquiry into the Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Jobs for Families Child Care Package) Bill 2016, and the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Family Payments Structural Reform and Participation Measures) Bill 2016.

The UnitingCare network’s approach to older people is guided and informed by the United Nations Principles for Older Persons which focus on Independence, Participation, Care, Self-fulfilment and Dignity and by an overall safe church approach to ensure the protection of vulnerable people.

UnitingCare Australia has long believed that reforms increasing user choice are positive as stated in our submission to the Competition Policy Review Panel in December 20141. There is demand from consumers their families and our providers for more flexibility and a greater degree of user direction. We continue to support reforms enabling the market to increase supply to better meet demand. These reforms should include increased transparency around cost of delivery and freedom to recover costs according to capacity of consumers to pay.

UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Second Draft Discussion Paper regarding the Accommodation Pricing Guidelines, Significant Refurbishment of residential Agedcare Services, Fees and Payments Principles 2013, Subsidy Principles 2013, Aged Care (Maximum Accommodation Payment
Amount) Determination 2013

UnitingCare looks forward to working with the Australian Government to deliver a robust aged care workforce strategy that will underpin a sustainable future for the aged care industry. Key areas that must be addressed include:

1. training and skills development, to support entry and transition to the aged care sector, as well as new skills to meet the needs of an innovative and responsive industry;

2. raising the profile of the sector as a potential employer, and ensuring that conditions and career pathways reflect the importance of aged care to community wellbeing; and

3. research and development in the sector, to ensure quality and efficiency outcomes and to capture the potential of aged care, as a growing service industry, to contribute socially and economically.