What is the Carer Knowledge Exchange?
The Carer Knowledge Exchange is a new, three-year project that aims to improve outcomes for carers by connecting research to practice.
The project is a partnership between Carers NSW and the Institute for Public Policy and Governance (IPPG) at the University of Technology Sydney. It is proudly funded by the NSW Government.
The Carer Knowledge Exchange aims to bring together carers, researchers, students, decision makers, professionals and service providers to share their knowledge about carers and learn from each other.
A carer is an individual who provides care and support to a family member or friend who lives with a disability, mental illness, alcohol or drug dependency, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail due to age.
The Carer Knowledge Exchange features:
- an online research library for people to search, browse and share knowledge about carers
- a range of opportunities to connect and share knowledge about carers with others, both online and in person
- a diverse national network and several communities of practice where knowledge about carers can be shared and developed
Who runs the Carer Knowledge Exchange?
The Carer Knowledge Exchange is delivered by Carers NSW and the Institute for Public Policy and Governance (IPPG) at the University of Technology Sydney. The Carer Knowledge Exchange team sits across both organisations.
Carers NSW and IPPG are supported by a Steering Group that includes representatives from both organisations as well as the NSW Department of Communities and Justice and two advisory Groups. The Research Advisory Group is made up of 12 academic and not-for-profit researchers from a range of disciplines. The Carer Advisory Group is made up of 5 carers with an interest in carer research.
What is the purpose of the Carer Knowledge Exchange?
The Carer Knowledge Exchange aims to provide a central platform for knowledge about carers to be shared and developed. We define ‘knowledge’ as a combination of research evidence, practice-based expertise, and lived experience.
The Carer Knowledge Exchange has been designed to:
- BUILD on the experience and expertise of both partner organisations to expand the carer evidence base
- TRANSLATE the carer evidence base for a range of audiences to improve carer-focused policy making and practice
- EXPAND researcher, sector and community awareness and use of the carer evidence base through better access to published research as well as engagement, networking, learning and collaboration opportunities
Our key priorities are:
- Putting carers at the centre: All our work is informed by carers’ needs and experiences.
- Knowledge translation: Making useful, reliable evidence available to more people to improve outcomes for carers.
- Sector engagement: Actively connecting with a wide range of audiences to continually strengthen and expand the project.
- A focus on outcomes: Ensuring that our work is relevant, effective and ultimately improves life for carers.
- Open access to research: Providing research based information in accessible language and formats to include a wide audience.
- A partnership approach: Carers NSW and IPPG work together, and with other key stakeholders and advisory groups, to deliver the project.
Who is the Carer Knowledge Exchange for?
The Carer Knowledge Exchange brings together carers, researchers, students, decision makers, professionals and service providers to share their knowledge about carers and learn from each other with the aim to improve outcomes for carers across Australia. These groups may be involved in different ways, but they will all have access to the same information and opportunities. We also recognise that many people in the Carer Knowledge Exchange network have multiple roles: they may care for a family member or friend while also working for a care service provider or a researcher.
The Carer Knowledge Exchange is aimed at carers who have an interest in research and advocacy. They may wish to contribute to or participate in research or advocacy, or learn from the work of others to inform their own caring role.
This project defines a carer as any individual who provides care and support to a family member or friend who lives with a disability, mental illness, alcohol or drug dependency, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail due to age. This does not include paid care workers or formal volunteers who are not caring for a family member or friend. It also does not include parents, foster carers or kinship carers who are caring for children that do not have the support needs resulting from the conditions listed.
Carers are invited to join Carer Knowledge Exchange events, networks and activities and share their knowledge while also learning from others. They are also invited to search and browse the Research Library and apply useful information to their caring role, advocacy or other personal endeavours such as work or education.
The Carer Knowledge Exchange defines researchers broadly, including anyone that conducts research as part of their paid employment or their studies. This includes academics and university-based researchers, university students, and researchers working in the government, not-for-profit and private sectors.
Researchers are invited to contribute their own publications and resources to the Research Library and to use the Research Library to inform their work. They are also invited to join Carer Knowledge Exchange events, networks and activities to share their knowledge and learn from others. Opportunities for promoting research and recruiting participants are also available.
Policy makers and practitioners
The third key audience for the Carer Knowledge Exchange is made up of anyone who works with carers, or in an area related to carers. This includes service providers, health professionals, government employees and representatives of peak bodies and community organisations. Anyone who wants to learn from current evidence to improve their work with, or for, carers is encouraged to get involved.
The Research Library provides a base to learn more about carers and support grant applications, submissions, reports, service design and daily work practice. It also provides a platform to share case studies and best practice that may help carers or other organisations. Policy makers and practitioners are also encouraged to participate in Carer Knowledge Exchange events, networks and activities to share their knowledge and learn from others.
What is the Carer Knowledge Exchange digital platform?
This digital platform is one of many ways in which the Carer Knowledge Exchange seeks to share carer-related evidence and connect our different audiences. Our online Research Library, Discussion Forum (coming soon), events page and subscription form provide different options for carers, researchers, policy makers and practitioners to connect with each other and share their knowledge.
More information about how to use these features can be found in ‘Frequently Asked Questions.’