Introduction to Short Term Restorative Care (STRC)

The majority of top tier providers (according to financial performance) take the specialisation route. This makes sense because, whilst the provision of care is common in all services, the business models across service areas vary significantly. The bottom line being; doing what you already know reduces risk.

However, the competition for residential aged care places is increasing.  2015 was the most competitive ACAR round in the last 4 years and we expect 2016 to be even more competitive. 

In times of tough competition growing through ‘doing what you already know’ becomes a more difficult prospect. 

The 2016 ACAR round will be the first year in which providers are able to apply for Short Term Restorative Care (STRC) packages. This paper provides an overview of the STRC program and what providers need to know when considering to apply for STRC places in the 2016 ACAR. 

The focus of STRC

The program is designed to provide time limited care services to care recipients who it is considered will benefit from a restorative approach as distinct to management of chronic conditions associated with aging or persistent age related disablement

What is the STRC programme?


  • Enhance older people’s ability to maintain their independence and to remain living at home

  • Reverse and/or slow functional decline for older people with the aim of improving wellbeing with specific focus on re enablement in a time limited period.

Care recipient eligibility

  • Assessment through ACAT:

    • in ‘functional decline’ that is likely to be reversed and/or delayed by STRC; and

    • at risk of losing independence and without STRC would likely need ongoing home care, residential care, or care via a MPS

  • A person is eligible if they:

    • are receiving commonwealth funded residential, home or other type of flexible care

    • are eligible for transition care

have received flexible care within 6 months prior to the assessment

Service offering to care recipients

  • Care and services delivered on a CDC basis – care plan is to be tailored according to the direction of the care recipient.

  • STRC is therapy focused and offers a range of allied health services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, etc.

  • Maximum duration is 56 days of care for 2 episodes per year

Subsidy, Fees and Payments

  • Subsidy to be paid to the care provider – approximately $190 per day (per the STRC consultation papers)

Care recipients may be asked to contribute towards the cost of their care

Who can apply for packages?

200 STRC places will be released in 2016 ACAR (2,000 places by 2021).

To apply, a provider must be approved as a flexible care provider as per Part 2.1 of the Aged Care Act 1997.

A streamlined process will be available to current home care and residential care providers seeking approval as a flexible care provider.

Of course, the question of ‘Can I apply for packages?’ is very different to “Should I apply for packages?’.

Tips for applicants who are interested in applying for packages.

Business plan

Is our business plan comprehensive enough to operationalise the STRC programme?

Financial management

Will the provision of this service be financially sustainable?


Who are our target audience and how will we connect with them?


Do we have the resources to provide the service?

Education and training

Are our staff sufficiently trained to carry out the business plan?

Flexible STRC agreement

Do our STRC agreements meet legislative requirements?

STRC care planning

Do our clan plan templates appropriate reflect CDC principles?

Quality management system

Do we have systems in place to monitor compliance with quality requirements?

STRC programme evaluation

Are internal controls in place to ensure targets are achieved?

How might STRC packages integrate to existing services?

With the increased competition for residential places and as the shift to a demand management policy for home care places STRC packages can provide valuable opportunities in the following situations:

  1. to fill gaps in providing home care packages in a demand managed model
  2. to increase staff utilisation and retention within a residential setting
  3. as an alternative entry point in to the home care market

RSM will be providing a full application support program for STCRC in the upcoming 2016 ACAR round.

Now that you have an understanding of the STRC programme, there is a key question that remain unanswered – which can only be answered on a case by case basis – Should I apply for STRC packages?
RSM provides tailored support to assist providers to answer this questions and apply for packages through ACAR.