HAAG's New Care Finder Program
Since January 2023, HAAG has transitioned from our long-term Assistance with Care and Housing (ACH) program into becoming a care finder.
What is a care finder?
Care finders are designed to specifically assist vulnerable people who may have no other support people, difficulty in communicating, understanding information or making a decision, or be reluctant to engage with government or aged care.
Care finders can provide intensive assistance, for example, help with talking to My Aged Care on a persons behalf, attending and providing support at assessments, completing forms and helping to understand service agreements, and solving other challenges to connect to supports in the community, such as housing and homelessness.
How is it different to the ACH program?
The focus of care finders is on connecting people with aged care “and other supports”. Although ACH providers still have a focus on people at risk of homelessness, there is now more focus on connecting people with accessing aged care. As we know from our experience, it is difficult to provide aged care in the home, when you do not have a safe and secure place to live, and the intention was that there would be no change for clients during this period of time. Unfortunately, we are already seeing some care finders say that they are no longer providing housing support, and referring back to our Home at Last service. We continue to provide housing support as well as linking in with aged care and other supports.
The other main difference is that care finders are supported by Primary Health Networks, through the Australian Government's Primary Health Network Program. This means that its harder for us to speak directly to government about issues, and has created many more meetings and paperwork for us as we are delivering a service across all six Primary Health Networks.
What do HAAG’s care finders do?
HAAG has transitioned some of our existing workers, including our Aged Care System Navigator and two of our housing support workers, into the care finder program. We mainly work in the north-western metropolitan, Western Victorian and Mornington Peninsula area. We still maintain a central intake and referral for care finders in other regions where we do not have enough funding to provide a full support service. We have made some great connections in the Mornington Peninsula region where we are expanding our support to for the first time.