Open source human services weaves a new way forward


What does “open source human services” mean? Nicholas Gruen and Chris Vanstone explain The Australian Centre for Social Innovation’s new Weavers project.

If unpaid carers weren’t caring, the aged care system would fall apart. 46% of people in need of care rely solely on support from friends and family, and conservative estimates put the financial value of carers at $6.5 billion per year.

But caring can be very tough. Carers have some of the lowest levels of self-reported wellbeing of any groups in our community, impairing their physical and mental health, which results in earlier admission to very expensive institutional care months or years before it would otherwise be necessary.

The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) has spent years developing a new program called Weavers which throws out a lifeline to new carers. It’s been shown to substantially lift carer wellbeing to the benefit of carers, those they care for and the public purse.

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