Weavers

Our scaffolded peer-to-peer carers support model Weavers connects people who are caring for a loved one with someone who has lived experience of being a carer in Australia.

Weavers is co-designed with carers, which means we listen to the voices of carers and work with them to design a program that actually works for them.

What is Weavers?

Weavers connects people who are caring for a loved one with someone who has lived experience of being a carer. Carers get personalised and flexible 1-to-1 peer support from someone who has been a carer.

“Weavers is co-designed with carers in Australia, which means we listen to the voices of carers and work with them to design a program that actually works for them,” says Barbara Binns, Weavers Implementation Lead. “That includes the areas that support needs to focus on, how carers support happens and what outcomes carers want to see.”

The model is currently being scaled across Australia and New Zealand.

How we’re scaling Weavers

Why Weavers?

Caring is one of the core activities of families, with most Australians likely to undertake caring responsibilities at some time during their lives.

If carers weren't providing care, the aged care system would fall apart. We know that 46% rely solely on support from friends and family, and the estimated value of carers in 2015 was $60.3 billion. This demonstrates a significant need to rise to the challenge of investing in this invaluable resource so we can relieve carer stress in Australia.

The statistics

  • In 2021, there were over 2.65 million unpaid carers in Australia

  • The estimated replacement value of unpaid care provided in 2015 is $60.3 billion (over $1 billion per week). This increased to $77.9 billion in 2021

  • 1 in 6 family carers have seriously contemplated killing themselves (and 20% of those are likely to attempt suicide in the future)

  • Australian carers provide 42 million hours of unpaid care every week

  • Approx 861,000 carers are primary carers, those who provide the most informal support to a family member or friend

 
  • 46% of people in need of care rely on family and friends

  • The weekly median income of primary carers aged 15-64 is $800 compared to non carers who receive median weekly income of $997

  • 7 out of 10 primary carers are women

  • Average age of a primary carer is 54

  • 1 in 11 (9%) carers are under the age of 25

  • Over one-third (33%) of primary carers have a disability (twice the rate of non-carers)

Our vision

Our ambition and vision is big: to scale Weavers internationally and build true and effective support for carers looking after a loved one. We believe that no carer should be left behind. 

Weavers have been there and they get it. You don’t need to go it alone – everyone can build a team of people around them. Caring is tough but you can grow from it – and it helps to have someone to show you through

How organisations can get involved

We’re building an online platform to help more organisations across Australia and NZ implement Weavers, which means we’re looking to increase our network of implementation partnerships within the disability sector, regional carer service providers, and local councils. 

If you’re interested in implementing Weavers in your organisation, please get in touch with us below, or contact Vita Maiorano, Director of Scaling Social Innovation at vita.maiorano@tacsi.org.au.

Read more about how we’re scaling Weavers here. 

 
Man using a walker passing through a gate held by a carer

First Nations First

Through the Weavers program, we work in collaboration with implementation partners to find ways to provide one to one support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Carers.

We identify specific approaches that address cultural safety and ways in which we share information with potential Weavers and carers who will be interested in the service. 

Cultural safety is in the foreground of what we do, as well as engaging with cultural advisors who can assist us in deepening our understanding of what providing family care looks like for the Aboriginal community.

We respect that everyone’s experience of care is influenced by culture, traditional values and beliefs as well as our experience of systems. This is particularly relevant for First Nations People.

Read more

Meet the Weavers team

Want to be involved?

Are you an organisation or commissioner of carer support and keen to learn more about Weavers? Interested in designing your own peer to peer response? We’d love to hear from you.

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