Flexible care services
The Department of Health’s aged care regulatory functions have been transferred to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner. As these take effect from 1 January 2020, the content on this page is currently undergoing review. For a summary of key changes, please click here.
Flexible care acknowledges that the needs of aged care consumers (consumers) may require a different care approaches than those provided through mainstream residential and home care.
- National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program: This program funds organisations to provide culturally appropriate aged care for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people close to home and community.
- Short Term Restorative Care Programme (STRC): This program provides a range of care and services for up to eight weeks to help prevent or reduce difficulties older people are having with completing everyday tasks.
Key changes for aged care providers
Commencement of the Aged Care Quality Standards
On 1 July 2019, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (Commission) began assessing and monitoring the quality of care and services against the Aged Care Quality Standards (Quality Standards).
Please see our Transitioning to the new Standards page. It includes a transitional arrangements fact sheet about the key changes for approved providers.
Commission Act and Rules
For information about changes for providers when the Commission was established on 1 January 2019, please see our Commission Act and Rules page.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program
Services delivered under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program are designed to deliver a flexible mix of residential, day care, respite care, and community based aged care.
The Commission conducts quality reviews of services under this program to assess their performance against the Quality Standards in accordance with the Quality Framework. The Quality Standards replaced the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program Quality Standards on 1 July 2019.
The Commission undertakes a quality review of each National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program service at least once every two years. The form and frequency of assessment contacts between quality reviews are determined on a case-by-case basis, guided by the service’s performance and all other relevant information received by the Commission.
Quality review guidelines
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program quality review guidelines provide information about the Quality Framework and Quality Standards. This includes quality reviews, assessment contacts, self-assessment and continuous improvement. The information is designed to help providers to prepare for visits and to demonstrate continuous improvement in their care and services for consumers.
- National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program Quality Review Guidelines;
- Assessment contacts;
- Self-assessment; and
- Continuous improvement.
If you have any feedback, please send an email to the Commission Regulatory Policy Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short Term Restorative Care Programme
The STRC Programme, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, Home Care Packages Program, residential aged care and other specialised aged care programs, is part of an end-to-end aged care system offering older people a continuum of care options as their care needs over time.
The STRC Programme, through early intervention, aims to reverse and/or slow ‘functional decline’ in older people and improve their well-being.
STRC provides a range of care and services designed for, and approved by, consumers for up to eight weeks. It is to help prevent or reduce difficulties they are having with completing everyday tasks. It aims to improve well-being and independence to help them continue living in their own home. The Programme can be accessed twice in any 12 months period.
STRC services may be delivered in a home care setting, a residential care setting, or a combination of both.
More information on STRC including frequently asked questions is available on the Department of Health website.
Approved providers delivering STRC services in a home care setting
The Commission conducts quality reviews of flexible care services through which STRC is provided in a home care setting in accordance with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 (Rules).
If a home service and a flexible care service through which STRC is provided in a home care setting have the same approved provider, the Commission may conduct the quality review of both services at the same time. The results of the quality review may be applied to both services.
Further information on the quality review process is available through our Home services page.
Approved providers delivering STRC services in a residential care setting
Flexible care services delivering STRC in a residential care setting are accredited by the Commission in accordance with the Rules or are taken to be an accredited service.
Further information on the accreditation process is available through our Residential services page.
STRC Programme Manual
The STRC Programme Manual, developed by the Department of Health, is a resource for providers of STRC to assist their understanding of the policy context and operational requirements for delivery of STRC to consumers in a home or residential care setting.
The STRC Programme Manual is available on the Department of Health website.
Return to the Providers home page for a full overview of content for all aged care service types, including residential services and home services.