The recently released intermediate report of the National Institute of Labour Studies’ (NILS) independent evaluation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) trial provides interesting evidence about how the NDIS has been impacting carers.
The majority of carers surveyed appreciated the assistance given to those they care for and experienced improved wellbeing, particularly because the NDIS assists them to provide care and reduces their anxiety about the availability of future supports for the person they care for.
However, they were considerably more negative in relation to the impact the NDIS has had on their ability to access supports and services in their own right.
Both the quantitative and qualitative data indicate that many family members and/or carers of NDIS participants are unable to take adequate breaks from providing support and that they cannot access carer support in a consistent manner. The qualitative evidence also suggests that support for carers (within and outside of the NDIS) has diminished since the NDIS roll-out.
Another concern is the increase in administrative effort carers have had to take on, the stress related to this, and the fact that, for many, it takes away time normally spent with their families.
Two important related findings are that carers still provide the vast majority of care and that there have been few examples of carers being able to engage in employment as a result of the supports received by those they care for.