While changes to the child care rebate scheme may have been done with best intentions, many families are still feeling the sting of no longer being eligible for help where they most need it, looking after their sick little ones.
Since the change in policy dozens of families have subsequently lost their access to in-home help or now find themselves in the position where they have to pay a significant gap fee for the first time.
As the effects of the new rebate scheme continue to be felt it is imperative that all parties, from families to government personnel, to be involved in open communication.
We as a society, as a nation and our governing bodies, must be alert to the most vulnerable, so as to secure help and support for those that need it most.
Alterations to how the child care policy works has meant that there has been a reduction in the in-home subsidy allotment.
This measure has seen many providers no longer provide the service due to what they describe as their hand being forced and parents being unable to meet payments.
The Most Vulnerable
Of the families that have been utilising in-home care, most have had children with disabilities whose cases demand additional care than what is provided under the national disability insurance scheme (NDIS).
Incredibly challenging situations faced by families have been parents suffering severe physical or mental health issues and children referred to providers by child protection services and similar agencies.
These circumstances have not been simple, easy managed or falling within attempts to rort the system.
Many of these cases have seen mums, dads and children struggling to cope with severe challenge of disease, illness, whether physical or mental.
The new system has arguably ushered some of Australia’s most vulnerable families into significantly tricky areas.
As many have lost their in-home care or face sizable gap fees, the support they had been eligible for, which fully covered their needs has left many children in unsafe situations and families exposed.
Ministers Speaking Up
There are Ministers that are weighing into the issue of in-home care subsidies.
The Greens education spokeswoman, Mehreen Faruqi encourages the government to, “step in and fix this problem before these vulnerable families are pushed to the brink”.
“These stories are heartbreaking,” she said. “Families and children in need are suffering because the government didn’t think through their decisions.”
For mums struggling with severe postpartum depression, children with complex medical needs, for families without support and community in a new country, for single parents, these are are our society’s acutely vulnerable.
We all know that the formative years of a child’s life is vital in setting them up for a healthy and happy life.
Psychologists, medical experts and us as parents know this, that’s why it is vital that we keep up the dialogue of the rights of the child and advocating for resources and help for those that need it most.