It is estimated that between 25 and 30% (roughly 500,000) of all Australian carers are from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds. However, this figure is likely to be an underestimate due to the lack of reporting or identification of the caring role within CALD groups.
Key issues affecting CALD carers include barriers to services, and the quality and effectiveness of those services.
Barriers to accessing carer services and supports can vary between individuals, families, or service providers, and can include missing out on financial support such as the Carer Payment and Carer Allowance, and impacts to their health and wellbeing.
Some of these barriers include:
- Cultural rules or obligations relating to how someone with a disability or an older person is cared for, who performs a caring role, and what it entails.
- Stigma associated with certain disabilities or health conditions;
- Concerns about the cultural appropriateness of services;
- Cultural opposition to the idea of carer support groups and discussing family business;
- Lack of awareness of services or inability to contact services due to limited English proficiency;
- Promotional, informational, and educational materials not available in different languages;
- Lack of services for small or emerging communities in regional, rural, and remote areas.
Throughout Australia, there are a number of organisations that provide culturally and linguistically appropriate and specific support services relevant to carers such as respite, counselling, support groups, and advocacy.
Find a culturally and linguistically appropriate and specific support service near you
For help finding a culturally and linguistically appropriate and specific support service near you, the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) can direct you to range of local multicultural council organisations.