Carers Queensland is committed to supporting all carers. We recognise that some carers face additional barriers in accessing supports that can assist them and the people that they care for.
Challenges faced by people from non-English speaking backgrounds may include language barriers, lack of knowledge about specialist programs, (for example the NDIS), poor access to mainstream
community services and stigma within their own communities due to cultural beliefs and expectations.
Within the local Carers Queensland Far North Queensland team, Family Carer Support Officer, Jess Chang, focusses on supporting carers from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)
“I am honoured to have this unique opportunity assisting carers, and the people they care for, from non-English speaking backgrounds to access the NDIS and other available community
services,” Jess said.
Since the NDIS rollout in Far North Queensland, Jess has been assisting families from CALD backgrounds to learn about the new scheme, as well as providing guidance for individuals to start their journey to access appropriate supports and services to meet their goals.
Waris recently came to Australia as a refugee. She cares for her 31-year-old daughter Hanna, who has significant intellectual and physical disabilities. The family were socially isolated due stigmas within their community. They were referred to Carers Queensland to receive much needed services.
Waris and Hanna faced many communication challenges in both her first language and English. This made it very difficult for Hanna to receive support. For example they often had difficulty attending scheduled appointments as they couldn’t record the date and time of their appointments. They had no access to information in their first language.
Involving a local interpreter assisted Jess to develop her understanding of Waris and Hanna’s culture and to improve her communication with the family. After sharing information about the NDIS and how support systems work in Australia, Waris was happy for Carers Queensland to assist her in making an application to the NDIS on Hanna’s behalf.
Over time, Jess helped the family to gather medical reports, complete the NDIS Service Access Request process and facilitated communication between the family and the NDIS.
Once the family received the good news that NDIS supports were available to Hanna, Jess continued to assist the family in identifying their goals, supporting them at the NDIS planning meetings and providing information about local service providers who could deliver culturally appropriate services.
If you know of anyone from a culturally or linguistically diverse background that needs assistance with their caring role or an NDIS application, contact Jess on 07 4031 0163.