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Announcement for people with disabilities and their families

For release November 2, 2015

Caring for the carers

Two new national services to support family carers have been launched by the Ministry of Health for delivery by not-for-profits SAMS (Standards and Monitoring Services), Parent to Parent, and Carers New Zealand.

The services, developed by carers for carers, will assist people who support people and their family/whanau with disabilities nationwide.

Care Matters is the new learning and wellbeing resource service delivered by SAMS and Parent to Parent. From November 6, 2015, people are able to use this service by visiting its new website or call free on 0508 236 236. This new, exciting service provides carers of disabled people with clear, constructive and accessible information resources to support them in their caring responsibilities. Eligible people are also able to access these resources through learning and training relevant to local interests and needs.

The freephone will also direct carers to sources of relief care at Carers NZ’s new National Relief Care Matching Service. This service enables disabled people and family carers to identify and select relief carers in their area. They could choose to access this service through the website or through its 0800 777 797 number. Carers NZ has partnered with MyCare Ltd to provide free access to eligible disabled people and a national pool of relief carers.

Eligibility for the carer matching service and the face-to-face learning component of  the carer learning and wellbeing resource service will be determined by the Ministry-funded Needs Assessment and Service Coordination services (NASCs).


SAMS is as 35-year-old service well known in New Zealand, Australia, and North America for its pioneering work at the forefront of developing carer/family education and leadership. At grass roots level it has annual face-to-face contact with more than 700 carers in New Zealand. Information about SAMS is on

For further information contact:

SAMS chief executive Mark Benjamin 0274 345 001

SAMS development manager Rebecca Walton 0274 260 150

Parent to Parent is a 32-year-old organisation involved with the day-to-day support of family/whanau, while also understanding and influencing current and emerging policies that impact on carers. It has 600 volunteer parents/carers providing peer support nationwide, researchers providing information, and workshops for families of people with disabilities. Information about Parent to Parent is on

For further information contact:

Parent to Parent chief executive Anne Wilkinson 027 244 6805

Carers NZ is New Zealand’s peak body supporting family carers of all ages. It acts as the ongoing Secretariat for the NZ Carers Alliance of more than 45 national not-for-profits, including SAMS and Parent to Parent. Information about Carers NZ is on

For further information contact: Carers NZ’s relief care matching service manager Jude Dodson 0800 777 797.

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