Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
During this time of transition at Little Dreamers, it’s natural to have lots of questions! That’s why we’ve put together this Frequently Asked Questions page. Please reach out if we’ve missed anything and we’ll endeavour to add it to our list.
What are the changes taking place in each state?
In response to recent challenges, we’ve made some decisions to ensure the continued success of Little Dreamers and enhance the support we provide to Young Carers. Read on to find out more about these.
Queensland and South West Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains (NSW):
From January 2024, Little Dreamers is moving to solely deliver programs under the Carer Gateway in Queensland and the New South Wales regions of South West Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains. The programs we will currently be delivering under the Carer Gateway are Peer Support, School Holiday Programs, Coaching and Counselling (launching early in 2024). The Dreamers Hub will also continue to be available for Young Carers in these regions. To check if you fall into these regions, please enter your home address here.
Hunter Port Stephens and North Coast (NSW):
In the regional NSW areas of Hunter Port Stephens and the North Coast, we will continue to deliver support under our funding from the Office for Regional Youth. Young Carers in these regions will be able to access Hour of Power, School Holiday Programs, Big Dreamers retreats, Young Adults programs, and Tutoring. The eligible LGAs for this funding are: Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Tweed, City of Cessnock, City of Maitland, Dungog, Musswellbrook Shire, Port Stephens, Singleton Shire, and Upper Hunter Shire.
Metro Sydney and the remainder of NSW:
We will be temporarily pausing delivery of intake and support to Young Carers not in the regions of NSW listed above. To ensure that Young Carers continue to receive the support they need, we will seek to facilitate connections for all of our Young Carers to other existing Young Carer programs. We will continue to seek funding to reinstate programs within these areas into the future, and will keep you posted if/when things change.
Compared to the other areas with Little Dreamers programs, Victoria is uniquely funded by a range of different organisations and departments. This means that within Victoria, Young Carers will still be able to access Dream Experiences, School Holiday Programs, Big Dreamers, Tutoring, Dreamers Hub, Peer Support, and The Young Carer Job Readiness Project (Ballarat only). The Young Carer Project will also only be delivered in schools in Victoria.
Can you provide more information about the reasons behind the financial challenges?
Little Dreamers has experienced incredible growth over the past three years, which has been super exciting, but has also led to lots of growing pains. In 2019, we were successful in receiving a number of large contracts which allowed us to expand from a Victoria-only operation to delivering programs on the ground in New South Wales and Queensland too. Since then, 12 paid staff has turned into 58, and 75 active volunteers is now 350.
Upon reflection, we found that while the transactional nature of the new contracts allowed us to reach and service more Young Carers than ever before, it also meant that we have had to self-fund most of the operations side of the business. Many funding contracts still only fund delivery and not staffing or capacity building, consequently we’ve had to absorb these costs to our detriment.
Simply put, we have invested and poured our hearts into delivering high-quality, high-impact support programs, and not enough money has gone into sustaining ourselves as an organisation in itself.
In the last financial year, the community donations which were once the lifeblood of our organisation have also dropped by 49%, while demand for support has increased by 24% and engagement in our programs has more than doubled.
What specific changes are being made to the current programs?
Here’s a list of our current programs and how they are affected by these changes:
- Dream Experiences: We will continue to work to deliver Dream Experiences for those Young Carers who are currently on our waitlist, although please be advised that this may take up to 12 months. From December 6 2023, new Dream Experiences expressions of interest will only be accepted in Victoria until further notice.
- School Holiday Programs: School Holiday Programs will continue to run in each state. In Queensland, these will all be delivered under the Carer Gateway and you must be registered with both Carer Gateway and Little Dreamers to attend. In New South Wales, you must be registered for Carer Gateway to attend programs in South West Sydney and the Nepean Blue Mountains. In Victoria, you will be able to access School Holiday Programs without being part of the Carer Gateway.
- Big Dreamers: From 2024, our Big Dreamers Program is only funded for delivery in Victoria. This will continue until further notice.
- Hour of Power: Our Hour of Power program will be put on hold at the end of 2023 in all states, expect Hunter Port Stephens and North Coast (NSW), where the program will focus on respite and peer support. We will keep you updated on any changes!
- Tutoring: Tutoring will continue running in Victoria. The program will be on hold in New South Wales and Queensland for the time being, however we are hoping to recommence sometime in 2024.
- Dreamers Hub: This program is still accessible to Young Carers in any state.
- Peer Support: This program remains unchanged. Young Carers can access Peer Support in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
- The Young Carer Project: This program will only be delivered in Victoria moving forward.
- The Young Carer Job Readiness Project: Our Young Carer Job Readiness Project will be delivered in Ballarat from January 2024-June 2024. From then, it will be put on hold.
If you are enrolled in a program that is directly affected by the changes, you will receive separate communications about this and the next steps.
I'm on the waitlist for a Dream Experience. What happens next?
All Young Carers who are currently on our waitlist will continue to be granted Dream Experiences (including those in QLD, NSW, and around Australia), however there may be a delay of up to 12 months for your Dream Experience to take place.
Jade, our Dream Experience Coordinator, will be in touch with you directly when she begins planning your Dream Experience!
From December 6 2023, new Dream Experience expressions of interest will only be accepted in Victoria due to our current funding contracts.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Jade at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will these changes impact the way I access support?
In Victoria, Young Carers will still be able to apply for support by filling out an application form on our website. You will then be contacted by one of our Young Carer Engagement Coordinators (previously titled Intake and Support Coordinators) to support you to enrol in our programs.
In Queensland, you will be able to apply directly for a program via Little Dreamers’ website or the Carer Gateway hotline. From there, a Young Carer Support Coordinator will be in touch to intake you into the specific program you are interested in, and help you access other forms of support.
In New South Wales, if you are located in South West Sydney and the Blue Mountains region, you will also be able to apply for a program via Little Dreamers’ website or the Carer Gateway hotline, like in Queensland. A Young Carer Support Coordinator will then be in touch to intake you into the specific program you are interested in, and help you access other forms of support.
If you are located on the North Coast in New South Wales, your process for applying for support will be the same as in Victoria. You will fill out an application form on our website and be contacted by one of our Young Carer Engagement Coordinators to assist you with enrolment in our programs.
What if I am located outside the Carer Gateway (South West Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains) and North Coast regions in NSW? Will I still be able to access support programs?
If you are located outside these areas, you will still be able to access some online services, such as the Dreamers Hub, our online platform for Young Carers. If you’re in New South Wales and located outside of South West Sydney, Blue Mountains, or North Coast, you may not be eligible for our other programs.
If this is the case, we encourage you to access support with other services. These include:
What if I'm located outside NSW, QLD and VIC?
Unfortunately, this means we will no longer be intaking Young Carers outside these states, or providing support programs in these areas. If you are located in SA, WA, NT, ACT, or TAS, we encourage you to apply for support via Carer Gateway, or your state-based Carers Australia team:
If you would like any further information, please contact 1800 717 515, or email email@example.com.
What is the timeline for these changes?
The new Carer Gateway model will be in effect from January 2024, so it’s a relatively quick transition. In the meantime, School Holiday Programs will still be going ahead over the December/January period in all states.
How do I register for the Carer Gateway?
To find out more and register directly for the Carer Gateway, head to https://www.carergateway.gov.au/ or call 1800 422 737. Alternatively, our team at Little Dreamers can help you with your registration.
Will there be opportunities for Young Carers to provide feedback on the changes?
At Little Dreamers, we love hearing your feedback about our programs and services! Upon completion of a program, you will receive a survey to be filled out about your experience. We encourage you to be as honest and open with your feedback as possible so that we can improve on the quality of our services. In the new structure, we will also be running more dedicated focus groups for Young Carers to provide feedback, review our offerings and help us develop new supports.
If you have any concerns or direct feedback outside of this, we encourage you to get in touch with us via the details below:
- Phone: 1800 717 515
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who can I contact for more information or clarification?
If you are uncertain about the changes or would like more clarification around how you will be impacted, please get in touch with us via the details below:
- Phone: 1800 717 515
- Email: email@example.com