Carer Impact Statement
What is a Carer Impact Statement?
A Carer Impact Statement is a document written by you, the carer of a person with disability. It is also known as a ‘Carer Statement’ or an ‘Impact Statement’.
Its purpose is to detail how caring for your child with a disability affects you and the lives of your family. A Carer Impact Statement is used to support an NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) application as it helps the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) determine the level of care needed.
Writing a Carer Impact Statement isn’t compulsory, but it is well worth including as it strengthens your NDIS application and can impact the level of funding you receive.
Why Write a Carer Impact Statement?
It is vital the NDIS fully understands your caring role, so you receive a plan that not only meets your child’s needs but provides you with ongoing support as a carer.
By submitting a Carer Impact Statement, you are giving the NDIS a genuine picture of what your caregiving responsibilities actually involve. This information might not be obvious in the other documentation in the NDIS application.
It is where you fully detail how being a carer affects you physically, emotionally, socially, and financially, as well as whether you can continue in this role in the future.
A Carer Impact Statement is particularly beneficial for Carers who:
- Want to ensure the information provided is comprehensive
- Find it difficult to verbalise the details of support needs
- Speak English as a second language
- Feel they may get too emotional when discussing details of their care and the impact of their child’s disability on their lives
An impact statement can also be provided by any person, family member (including an older sibling) or provider that supports and cares for a person with a disability. Their input may be beneficial in communicating to the NDIS the level of support needed.
Is there a Specific Way to Write a Carer Impact Statement?
No – the NDIS has no official guidelines or template for what a Carer Impact Statement should look like, which is a positive as it lets you write in the way you feel most comfortable.
For example, some people write their statement as a letter, while others write using bullet points and headings. There is no right or wrong way to write this- it can be whatever you choose.
However you write your Carer Impact Statement, it should be clear and easy to understand. Here’s an example of the basics to include:
Where you introduce yourself and your relationship to the child with a disability.
Overview of the disability:
Where you write a brief overview of your child’s disability and the level of care required.
Impact on you:
Where you detail the impact of the caring role on your physical and emotional health, as well as your ability to work, study or engage in social activities. This part is key.
It’s a great idea to structure the impacts using the Eight Support Categories of the NDIS. These are the different areas of support that the NDIS covers to help you care for your child. These support categories are daily living, home, health and wellbeing, skill development and learning, social and community participation, employment, relationships, and life choices.
Note the level of support you receive from other sources, such as family, friends, or community services.
Where you can summarise the key points and provide any additional information that you believe is relevant.
Please see below for some example Carer Impact Statements:
Source: Carers Australia – Carers Australia Sample Carer Statement (1)
Source: Carers Australia – Carers Australia Sample Carer Statement (2)
Source: Reimagine – ReImagine Sample Carer Statement
How to Write Your Carer Impact Statement
By answering these questions for the eight NDIS support categories, you can write a Carer Impact Statement that accurately represents the impact of caregiving on your life. These questions are designed to help you think about and describe the support you provide for your child with a disability – they don’t cover every possible aspect of caregiving, so there will be other questions and considerations you may need to add to your statement.
- Daily Living: This covers assistance with daily living and personal activities, such as assistance getting your child in and out of bed, showering or bathing, and other daily life tasks.
- How much assistance does my child need with personal hygiene, dressing and meal preparation?
- Do they need extra assistance above and beyond a child of the same age without disability?
- How long does it take to complete these tasks?
- How has caring for my child impacted my own daily living activities?
- Home: This refers to assistance with household tasks, such as tidying the kitchen and other household spaces, as well as changes that need to be made to the family home to accommodate your child’s disability.
- Does my child require specific housing needs?
- How does caring for my child impact our housing situation?
- How has making any modifications to our home impacted our finances?
- Health and Wellbeing: This refers to personal care, assistance with dietary and cooking needs, cleaning, increasing or maintaining physical mobility as directed by a GP or specialist, medication (if required), and mental and other wellbeing practices.
- Does my child require regular medical or healthcare appointments?
- Have I experienced any physical or mental health issues as a result of caring for my child?
- Do I have access to support services such as counselling or respite care?
- Skill Development and Learning: This looks at the assistance provided to learning and educational development undertaken by your child.
- How has caring for my child impacted my ability to learn new skills or pursue educational or training opportunities?
- Do I have access to training or development opportunities that could support my caring responsibilities?
- Social and Community Participation: This refers to support to help your child participate in social and community activities.
- How has caring for my child impacted my ability to participate in social or community activities?
- Have I had to limit my own social activities to manage my caring responsibilities?
- Would funding for social and community participation for my child help me to maintain a healthy work-life balance and improve my overall wellbeing?
- Employment: This covers ‘Finding and Keeping a job’ under the NDIS Support Categories.
- How has caring for my child impacted my ability to work?
- Are there any accommodations or support that would help me to balance my caring responsibilities with my employment?
- Would accessing care or respite services enable me to return to work or increase my work hours?
- Relationships: This addresses ‘Improved Relationships’ under the NDIS, with carers assisting in the relationship needs of their child, including what is needed to start, maintain and improve positive relationships.
- How has caring for my child impacted my relationships with family and friends?
- Do I feel isolated or disconnected from my support network? Do I have a support network?
- Would accessing respite care enable me to spend more time with my loved ones?
- Life Choices: This refers to the cost of support to help your child have control and support over their life, and to promote their independence and autonomy.
- Are there any areas where additional support would help my child increase their independence and control?
- How has caring for my child impacted our family’s ability to make choices and decisions?
- Would accessing support services enable me to regain more control over my life and decision-making processes?
Describe Your Circumstances
Include other relevant information and commitments that affect your ability and/or amount of time you have to care for your child with disability. This may include:
- Caring for other children, (with or without disability or additional needs).
- Your age and ability to continue managing the demands of your caring role
- If you have ageing parents who are unable to fully care for themselves due to age or health conditions.
- Any issues with your own health or that of your partner.
Focus on What is Above and Beyond
- Try to focus on what is above and beyond parental responsibility for a similarly aged child without disability.
- An example of ‘above and beyond parental responsibility’ could be a parent of a child with autism who has to engage in regular therapy sessions, attend numerous medical appointments and provide additional support with daily living skills. This requires a significant amount of time, energy and resources beyond what would be expected for a similar aged child without disability.
Think About Your Worst Day
- Be open about the challenges you face on your worst possible day
- This will ensure you communicate the maximum level of support required
Consider the Future
- Write about your concerns for the future
- For example, if you were not around to help your child, what would they not be able to do without your assistance? What would happen if you were no longer around?
Before submitting your statement, it’s a good idea to seek feedback from someone you trust. This may be a family member, friend or support worker.
Helpful Resources When Writing a Carer Impact Statement
Using a Template
Using a template is an excellent way to prepare your Carer Impact Statement. There are some fantastic resources which can be found as follows:
Using The Carer Checklist
This is a checklist created by Carers Australia to assist in creating a Carer Impact Statement:
Who to Share your Carer Impact Statement With and How
Once you have created your Carer Impact Statement, it is helpful to share it with the following people or groups:
Your NDIS Planner or Support Coordinator
This is the most important person to share your Carer Impact Statement with as they will use it to help develop your child’s NDIS plan.
Your Child’s Therapists
This can help them better understand the challenges you face as a carer and enable them to provide better support to both you and your child.
Your Healthcare Providers
Your healthcare providers, such as your GP or psychologist, can benefit from seeing your Carer Impact Statement. It can help them understand the impact that caring for your child with a disability has on your health and wellbeing, and enable them to provide more targeted support to you.
There are several ways you can share your Carer Impact Statement:
- Email: to your planner or support coordinator
- In-person: you can share a physical copy with the relevant people in person.
- Online: you can share it with the NDIS using the NDIS portal (via the app or on a computer as follows: https://www.ndis.gov.au/improvements/new-participant-portal-and-app