Community Aged Care Sector Support

Under this program we convene the Northern Rivers Community of Practice Ageing – bringing service providers together to build capacity, cohesion and responsiveness in the community aged care sector in the Northern Rivers Region of NSW.

The Community of Practice meets every two months and includes community, government and private sector organisations delivering community aged care services and programs Northern Rivers/ Far North Coast region of NSW, and others working on related sector and service system development and quality, community development and education. It focuses on sharing information, continued development of good practice and identifying strategies for collaboration to enhance local and regional community aged care services, collegial support, pathways and responsiveness to community need.

Northern Rivers Community of Practice Terms of Reference.



Dementia Carer Education Project

The Dementia Care Education Service Education and Training develops and delivers, in consultation and collaboration with service providers, information and education sessions to carers of people living with dementia who reside within the Northern Rivers to support them to continue to provide care at home.

About Community Aged Care Sector

Social Futures’ Community Aged Care Sector Support program is funded under the Commonwealth Home Support Program to support the development of the home support service system and enable Commonwealth Home Support Program service providers to operate effectively in line with the objectives of the CHSP and within the context of the broader aged care system.


Linda Wirf, Project Officer Social Strategy
phone: 0406 409 747, email: [email protected]

Program resources

Caring for someone with dementia
We have developed a booklet of coping strategies for family and friends caring for someone with dementia. All the strategies were shared directly by Carers from their own experiences. When COVID-19 physical distancing restrictions came in and we were no longer able to hold Carer sessions in person we decided to compile this booklet so that other Carers could still benefit from their advice.


New Carer Gateway making life easier for Carers

Carer services are now available through a new Australia-wide network of Carer Gateway service providers.

Carer Gateway provides a range of services and supports delivered both in person and online

  • Counseling
  • Connect with other carers through the carer forum online.
  • Respite Care – emergency and planned respite
  • Self-guided coaching – interactive online coaching sessions on a range of topics
  • Skills courses –short online courses to learn new skills in caring for someone and self-care
  • Practical help and advice or information about financial support

Call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 to reach a Carer Gateway service provider in your area. A trained worker will be available to talk with you and then help you to find services and support to meet your needs.

CHSP funding extension 2020–2022

Funding certainty to ensure continued service provision for clients

As part of the 2019 Australian Government Budget package announced yesterday, funding for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) will be extended from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2022. Current CHSP grant agreements remain in place until 30 June 2020.

More information here

 Wellness & Reablement

With significant changes in the age care sector both the Commonwealth and State are committed to ensure that people who receive services are supported to remain as independent as possible. The focus for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) is on wellness, reablement and restorative care. The ‘Living Well at Home: CHSP Good Practice Guide’ has been developed to provide information about the wellness, reablement and restorative care approaches and what good practice looks like in home support services.

Social Futures offers free Wellness & Reablement Reflective Practice sessions for community aged care service providers in the Northern Rivers to help embed this approach within their service framework. Email [email protected] for more information or to book a session.

 Wellness & Reablement Review

In early 2017, the department engaged Nous Group to conduct a national review of wellness and reablement approaches within the aged home care sector. A focus on wellness and reablement approaches has been shown to improve function, independence and quality of life for older people.  This is also a key goal of the current suite of government funded home care programs which aim to support older people to maximise their independence and assist them to remain in their homes for as long as they can and wish to do so.  Embedding wellness and reablement within this sector therefore remains a key goal for both the government and the broader aged care sector.

New Charter of Aged Care Rights to take effect from 1 July 2019

The Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP announced a new Charter of Aged Care Rights (the Charter).

This single charter of rights across aged care is part of the Single Aged Care Quality Framework and will take effect from 1 July 2019. It replaces the four current charters that relate to care recipients’ rights and responsibilities.

It will apply to people who receive Government-subsidised aged care services, including:

  • residential care
  • home care packages
  • flexible care
  • services provided under the Commonwealth Home Support Program and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.

Information about the implementation of the Charter and provider responsibilities is available on the department’s website.

Can aged care clients receive CHSP services while on a Home Care Package (HCP)?
To understand the differences between the programs and the circumstances under which a HCP client can access CHSP services, see the Department of Health’s Fact Sheet.

 New Aged Care Quality Standards

Organisations providing Commonwealth subsidised aged care services are required to comply with the Aged Care Quality Standards (Quality Standards). Organisations will be assessed and must be able to provide evidence of their compliance with and performance against the Quality Standards from 1 July 2019.

Aged Care Diversity Framework Action Plans

Action plans have been developed under the Aged Care Diversity Framework to assist government and aged care service providers to address specific barriers and challenges faced by older people with diverse characteristics and life experiences. As an aged care provider these plans can help you think about how you can make your services more inclusive and culturally safe for the community in which you operate.

As well as a general document three specific plans have been completed: Action plan for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; Action plan for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; Action plan for older lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, and intersex elders. Click here to read the action plans.

 Responding to Elder Abuse

NSW has an Interagency Policy of 2015: Preventing and responding to abuse of older people, requiring all government, non-government, community agencies and organisations to ensure their staff are aware and trained about elder abuse. The Model policy can be a useful guide for organisations implementing a policy.

The Elder Abuse Helpline: 1800 628 221 and website is a free NSW government service for advice on elder abuse. Useful resource: Elder Abuse Toolkit.

Social Futures offers free 45 minute information sessions on Recognising and Responding to Elder Abuse for community aged care service providers in the Northern Rivers. Email [email protected] for more information or to book a session.

Telephone-based social support services

The Red Cross provides free telephone-based social support services to older people in the Northern Rivers region. Telecross provides daily telephone call to check on a person’s wellbeing and Telechat is a social chat service. To access the service or to volunteer, call Bernadette Daley (Telecross) on 0429 305 692 or Julie Davis (Telechat) on 0417 655 470.

Dementia toolkits

The North Coast Primary Health Network has released free Dementia Toolkits to support people with dementia, their families and carers. They are available for Tweed, Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast, Clarence Valley and Hastings Macleay.

Dementia Australia also have a range of information sheets and resources available on their website.

For more information contact Linda Wirf, Project Officer Social Strategy 0406 409 747 [email protected]

Related programs and services

NDIS opens up a whole new life for Tasel

FOR many of us, 2020 may turn out to be a year we’d rather forget. But for Maclean woman Jacques Sears, things have never been better. Ms Sears, also known as Tasel, is deaf, but with the help of the National Disability Insurance Scheme her life has changed for the...

read more

How our local services stayed connected through COVID-19

While individuals and households were adjusting to the new reality of social isolation as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, human service organisations were scrambling to figure out how best to keep supporting our most vulnerable community members despite physical distancing...

read more

Madeleine lands her dream job

Madeleine Thompson dreamed of becoming a nurse when she was still in primary school. Now she’s living the dream, having recently secured a permanent role as an Assistant in Nursing at St Joseph’s Nursing Home in the northern NSW town of Lismore. “I’m really enjoying...

read more

Grounds for Celebration

From forever volunteering to paid employment at a coffee shop? That’s grounds for celebration!  Sharon Hammond has a wonderful story. From working in volunteer roles all her life, she has finally secured paid employment in a position where she is valued, liked and...

read more

Tackling bullying one class at a time

Schools are looking toward an inclusive future thanks to awareness program, ‘Different on the Outside but the Same on the Inside’. Many of us saw the distraught video of nine year old Quaden Bayles and our hearts wrenched seeing the effect of bullying upon a young...

read more

Northern Rivers transport guides

If you are looking for information about transport options in the Northern Rivers including bus routes, community and medical transport, taxi, coach and other services that operate in your area, visit and download the transport guide for your...

read more

Care factor makes all the difference for Rocky

In 1996, at 29 years of age, Rocky Mileto sustained a severe spinal cord injury from a tackle in a game of rugby union. “I had the ball, it was one on one. Just the wrong angle, wrong timing,” Rocky said. “It was that easy, that simple.  Most injuries, rugby or rugby...

read more

Continuing to deliver support services throughout COVID-19

Social Futures is committed to the continuation of delivering support services in a safe, practical and innovative way while navigating COVID-19. What do you need to know: We are taking daily steps to try to make sure our offices and facilities are safe to access We...

read more

Putting family life back in the picture

Many people who have family members with disabilities experience the sadness and frustration of being so busy in their support roles that they can’t enjoy the pleasures of family life. For them, the benefits of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be...

read more

Muscular dystrophy won’t stop Lachie

It has been one year exactly since Lachlan Reardon got his first NDIS plan. Soon to turn 11-years-old, this local Mudgee boy has come a long way in a single year. Lachlan lives with mild muscular dystrophy. He has hyper flexibility and low muscle mass. He’s always...

read more

Delivering services around COVID-19

Social Futures is committed to the continuation of delivering support services in a safe, practical and innovative way while navigating COVID-19.