After many months of consultation and development, FCVic is delighted to announce the launch of the Carer Pathway pilot, a dedicated warm referral pathway for carers to access financial counselling assistance. Produced as part of our ongoing carers project, conducted in partnership with Carers Victoria, the Carer Pathway will provide an easy and streamlined process for carer support workers from select organisations to refer their clients to a financial counsellor – and can also be accessed by carers who wish to refer themselves.
The Pathway is supported by Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) – in this initial pilot stage, it takes the form of an online form hosted on CALC’s website, and will connect carers to financial counsellors operating within CALC. Following an initial telephone appointment, undertaken within 2 business days of the initial referral, CALC can also refer the carer on to more in-depth financial counselling assistance if necessary.
The process leading to the development of the Carer Pathway has taken a number of months, and began with a series of consultations with carer support workers from Carers Victoria and Merri Health. During these consultations, carer support workers identified a need for time-poor carers to obtain quick and easy referral to a financial counsellor, and noted that there is a lack of confidence amongst some carer support workers to discuss financial matters with a carer. Drawing on these findings, we have also produced a number of resources to accompany the Carer Pathway, designed to aid carer support workers in navigating financial conversations with their clients. These resources include:
- A Conversation Guide to help carer support workers have gentle and productive conversations about money with their carer clients
- The ‘Carer Pathway to financial counselling’ factsheet for carers who may wish to self-refer to a financial counsellor using the Carer Pathway
- The ‘Get in touch with a financial counsellor’ factsheet, designed to assist care recipients who want to get in touch with a financial counsellor (recognising that they are ineligible to access assistance via the Carer Pathway)
- The ‘Build your financial capability factsheet’, which lists financial capability programs and resources, grouped by learning style, to help carers find a program that best suits their individual needs.
The pilot will run for about 6 months. We hope that the Pathway and accompanying resources will provide carers with accessible and practical information about the financial support available to them, and will streamline their access to financial counselling support. If you would like more information about the Carer Pathway pilot, please email Bella Walker – [email protected].
This project is funded by the Victorian Government through the Carers Statewide Partnerships Grants Round 1.