Person-centred home care packages: future visions for carer recognition

Duncan C1, Williams L3, Hofstätter L2

1University Of Wollongong

2Carers NSW

3Bay & Basin Community Resources


This paper presents a participatory action research project highlighting the importance of research partnerships with carers and aged care providers for successfully implementing person-centred care that meets the needs of care recipients and carers.

A ‘Framework for Carer Recognition in the Home Care Packages Program’ was developed in collaboration with carers, care recipients, Carers NSW and Bay & Basin Community Resources (BBCR), a Home Care Package Provider. This research project, supported by data from the Carers NSW 2018 Carer Survey and 2020 National Carer Survey, demonstrates why carer recognition is a critical aspect of the implementation of person-centred care in the Home Care Packages (HCP) Program.

A case study of how BBCR has incorporated carer recognition into their model for HCP demonstrates that the developed Framework is both valuable and viable in the context of the increasingly individualised; market based aged care system in Australia.

Based on findings from this project the research partners co-authored submissions to the Aged Care Royal Commission (ACRC) regarding the lack of Carer Recognition in the HCP Program. This included a set of recommendations for policy change, including practices that facilitate carers as valued and respected partners in person centred care. This resulted in the ACRC consulting Ms Duncan regarding policy reform to the HCP Program.

This paper provides valuable insights for carers, policy makers, researchers and service providers into how to ‘bridge the gap’ between the Commonwealth Carer Recognition Act (2010) and the HCP Program in the provision of person centred home care packages.


Cathy is an Associate Lecturer in Social Work at University of Wollongong. She has extensive social work practice, policy and research experience. Her PhD is an investigation of carer recognition in the context of the neoliberal marketisation of the Home Care Packages program. This is a collaborative research project with Carers NSW and Bay and Basin Community Resources. The research collaboration co-authored a series of submissions to the Aged Care Royal Commission (ACRC) regarding the lack of carer recognition in the Home Care Packages Program. The ACRC has subsequently consulted Ms Cathy Duncan regarding carer inclusive aged care policy reform.

Lukas Hofstaetter is a Research and Development Officer at Carers NSW, the peak body representing family and friend carers in New South Wales. He holds a PhD in Sociology from Goethe-University Frankfurt and Macquarie University Sydney (cotutelle). Previously he worked as a university lecturer and researcher in Sydney (Australia), Frankfurt am Main (Germany), and Vienna (Austria). His current research interests include the sociology and political economy of caring and empirical methods in research and evaluation.

Lorraine Williams is a Registered Nurse / clinical advisor for Home Care Packages at Bay and Basin Community Resources.

Recent Comments
    Recent Comments