The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) welcomes the extension of Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) Sector Support and Development (SSD) sub-program funding until 30 June 2021, as announced yesterday. Together with CALD stakeholders, we have been actively advocating government’s firm support on CHSP.
CHSP provides easy access to entry level care for senior Australians to remain independent and safe in their own homes. It has been proven to delay admission to permanent residential aged care. To old persons from multicultural communities, it is important that CHSP remains a block-funded program. The flexibility allows CALD specialist providers to develop trusted and experienced bilingual bicultural workers who assist older persons who speak little or no English to navigate and engage with essential aged care services and supports in the community. They provide centre based group activities that are culturally and linguistically meaningful.
FECCA Chairperson Mary Patetsos said: “While the extension is a welcome development, FECCA will continue to keep pushing as smaller CALD-specialist CHSP providers are facing the risk of losing numerous staff who have built community knowledge and relationships over the years. The impact on service delivery to older Australians from CALD backgrounds will be significant and the capacity of the aged care sector to deliver culturally appropriate and culturally safe services to ‘special needs’ population groups will diminish.”