By contributing your insights and experience as a carer, you can help inform, advocate for and improve the situation of caring families in Victoria.
Carers can offer their voice and participate in a Carer Consultation Panel, focus groups and other research projects conducted by Carers Victoria or one of our research partners. External researchers can reach out to us when seeking support for their projects from Carers Victoria.
Carer Consultation Panel
As the peak organisation representing the voice of all carers across Victoria, we continually seek feedback from carers and carer groups. To strengthen the process by which we seek carers’ views to inform the organisation’s approach to strategic, operational and policy decisions, the Carers Victoria board has decided to establish a Carer Consultation Panel. Members will be invited to join a Panel based on their lived experience of caring. The objective of establishing a Panel differentiated by carer interest and experience is to ensure requests for feedback go to the right people and Panel members are only contacted about relevant matters.
Members of the Carer Consultation Panel will need to agree to be contacted by Carers Victoria and to respond to questions on a range of policies, services and supports for people in care relationships. Regular meeting attendance will not be required, but Panel members will need to provide a quick turnaround to requests for feedback when asked to respond to a range of government enquiries and reviews. Communication will mainly be via email, but on occasion Panel members may be contacted by phone or invited to a face to face focus group.
Please register your interest in joining a Carer Consultation Panel
Research with carers
Carers Victoria is regularly approached by postgraduate and undergraduate students, academic researchers, services and government departments to assist with the recruitment of carers to participate in consultations, research and evaluations.
Carers Victoria is committed to carer voices being heard as per the following principles:
- Carers Victoria is supportive of research on carer issues which increases understanding of the breadth of carer experiences and promotes best practice and policy responses to the needs of people in care relationships.
- Carers Victoria is committed to empowering carers as active participants in the planning, evaluation and quality assurance activities of services, which they, and the person they support, use or require.
- Carers Victoria encourages participation and recruitment of a diverse range of carers, to ensure the needs and views of groups within a broad array of communities are explored. In particular inclusion of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island carers is encouraged. Data collection needs to reflect diversity of gender and sexuality wherever possible.
- Caring is a personal and can be a stressful experience. Therefore, Carers Victoria must ensure any request made does not place added stress on carers. In particular, protection is needed regarding: privacy of carers’ identifying information; carer choice in participation; carers being fully informed of what participation will involve; complaint and debriefing options if carers are distressed by the activity.
- Carers’ expertise is a valuable resource and should not be exploited. Carers Victoria must ensure the quality and potential value of the proposed project/consultation outcomes is sound.
- Carers Victoria expects the contribution carers make is acknowledged through reimbursing travel and/or respite expenses and provision of a small honorarium e.g. gift voucher.
- In line with the Health Issues Centre (HIC) guidelines regarding consumer participation, we suggest carers are acknowledged for their time and the value of their contribution by offering at a minimum, light refreshments or gift vouchers.
Information sheet for external research partners
Before Carers Victoria supports a project, we recommend researchers read our Information sheet for external research partners, which provides guidance on how external researchers or research institutes can work with Carers Victoria as part of their research projects.
Carers Victoria welcomes opportunities to undertake joint collaborative projects or to officially endorse and promote carer-related research. However, we carefully assess advantages, disadvantages, opportunities and risks of the project – to potential research participants who are carers, to Carers Victoria and the Carer Associations – before deciding on whether to support the project and the extent of involvement. Carers Victoria in particular supports projects which are innovative, or examine emerging issues relating to carers, care relationships and add new information to the evidence base.
Please read the attached information sheet 'Information for external research partners'.
Carer participation request form
Once researchers are confident that their project is appropriate for support from Carers Victoria, they should complete the carer participation request form, so that we can ensure that the above principles are adhered to when recruiting carers for research.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request the form in order to complete and submit it along with any additional material, such as flyers, brochures and other marketing material, and ethics approval documents.