In 1998, the Australian Government issued a ‘Charter of Public Service in a Culturally Diverse Society’. The Charter is intended to commit all government service providers to integrating the Charter’s seven principles into their strategic planning, policy and corporate reporting processes.
In a culturally diverse society like Australia this means making services culturally appropriate, accessible, consumer-oriented and effective. To that end, the seven principles of the Charter are access, equity, communication, responsiveness, effectiveness, efficiency and accountability.
Under the Aged Care Charter 1997 older people from non-English speaking (culturally and linguistically diverse) backgrounds are identified as a special needs group. As such, specific policy and programs have been designed to enhance the access of these people to aged care services, as well as build capacity for aged care providers to deliver culturally appropriate care.
The Partners in Culturally Appropriate Care (PICAC) Initiative was developed in 1997. The PICAC project was developed to improve the capacity of aged care services to respond to the differing needs of older people in residential aged care facilities from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
PICAC coordinators work to improve the partnership between aged care providers, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing to ensure that aged care service providers are informed on best practice in the delivery of culturally appropriate care.
The PICAC Program provides funding for eight organisations, one in each state and territory. For further information on the PICAC project and other initiatives of the Department of Health & Ageing visit: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/ageing-specneed-picac.htm