C.A.P.S: A Carers Initiative
A group of carers came together in the City of Casey to create a support group with a difference. The group, known as C.A.P.S. sought to connect people caring for others with any kind of disability, regardless of level or type.
C.A.P.S. developed a website with email, a Facebook page and a secure online social network called ‘Carers Online’ to connect members.
The small committee also worked in partnership with a number of organisations to develop appropriate levels of governance, and set up a structure able support a variety of communication methods.
C.A.P.S. drew on the broad ranging experience of individual members to select appropriate spaces for their online and face-to-face meetings. This included a number of specialised online spaces for young mums who are carers, and a virtual men's shed.
The group also prepared promotional materials and arranged a series of face-to-face morning coffee meetings at various locations across the municipality to encourage families to interact with people who live close to them.
C.A.P.S. identified a range of benefits that this program delivered for carers including:
- emotional and physical support
- reduced levels of isolation
- a combined voice for carers in the southern metropolitan region of Melbourne
- the development of a central location for information to be posted.
A range of organisations subsequently showed interest in being promoted online.
Using online membership as a marketing opportunity further enhances engagement with the private sector in the longer term.
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