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L.I.S.A Inc
LISA... is a parent support and lobby group, for parents and families with a family member having an intellectual or multiple disability, and living in a supported accommodation group home in the State of Victoria, Australia.
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Tuesday, November 27 2012

This project comprises the development of a comprehensive database which will receive and compile information from people with disability, their families and carers along with disability sector organisations and the disability services workforce. This information will be used to improve the quality of services provided to people with disability.

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 23 2012

Go home on time day was on the 21st of November. Do you know what time you'll leave for home at the end of the day? Do you finish at a precise time every day of the week?

Apparently, more than two million Australians head out to work each morning, and have almost no idea what time they will knock-off at the end of the day.

Now in its fourth year, ‘Go Home On Time Day’ is an initiative of The Australia Institute, a public policy think tank based in Canberra.

Go home on time has a somewhat different connotation for many DHS/DS direct care staff, with the department working towards clock on and off machines in an attempt to counter the rorting of work hours.

Many direct care staff working in department group homes consider they have finished work when all the domestic work is done. They do not see a significant part of their duty of care as consistent and meaningful PCAS and PBS – Interaction, developmental and social activities with the residents – quality of life care, rather than minder care.

NOTE: The above mentioned questionable occurrences are as a direct result of the failure of all levels of department management to properly, proactively and consistently manage the business of ensuring their direct care and support services for people with disabilities are well within the direction, intention and spirit of the department’s comprehensive and extensive care policies, standards and values.

These questionable occurrences are most disturbing to the great many direct care staff who want to do the job right, but are often intimidated by staff lore and house politics if they attempt to do so. This is especially so for those who have just completed 'Certificate 4', and are motivated by the quality of life aspect of the course.

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 23 2012

The intention of the State Government of Victoria in providing funding for care and support services for people with disabilities was/is that the funding shall provide entitlement services.

In total contrast, the Department of Human Services, Disability Services, sees their provision of direct care services, from this state government funding, as a charity hand-out to people with disabilities and their families – the consumer.

This department, therefore, in practical terms, sees no reason to be proactively accountable to the consumer, no reason to consider the consumer as at the centre of service provision and no reason to do other than force the consumer to prove the department is failing to provide services within the department’s care policies, standards and values. Rrather than they, DHS, having an obligation to prove to the consumer, in very practical terms and values, that they are providing services within the department’s care policies, standards and values.

One of the main intentions of the NDIS was that of moving existing care and support services out of the captive market/charity hand-out service philosophy, into a marketplace/customer focused service philosophy. This seems to have been placed in the NDIS too hard basket.

Nevertheless, marketplace/customer focused services can still be achieved within current state funding, by redefining service funding from the present ‘block’ funding, to ‘ISP’ funding, and remove the current DSR.

The residents of current group homes, for which they pay rent, would be free to, as a group, change service providers and service contracts or, individually, move to another service

NOTE: The above mentioned questionable occurrences are as a direct result of the failure of all levels of department management to properly, proactively and consistently manage the business of ensuring their direct care and support services for people with disabilities are well within the direction, intention and spirit of the department’s comprehensive and extensive care policies, standards and values.

These questionable occurrences are most disturbing to the great many direct care staff who want to do the job right, but are often intimidated by staff lore and house politics if they attempt to do so. This is especially so for those who have just completed Cert4, and are motivated by the quality of life aspect of the course.

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 20 2012

The Department of Human Services, Disability Services Management, has a long standing track record for incident reports conveniently going missing when they want to sweep problems under the carpet. In comparison with DINMA reports, this is quite easy to achieve.

DINMA reports are in a pad of duplicated sheets which are sequentially numbered, making them much easier to track in comparison with one-off, no-numbered, incident reports.

DINMA Reports

Incident Reports

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 20 2012

Reports in the weekend press suggest December 7th is the big, big, NDIS day (see link below) when the Gillard Federal Government will roll out to the states the proposed funding plans for NDIS There are three elephants looming in the COAG room.

  1. Who will be eligible for services?
  2. What level of services e.g. reasonable support is agreed?
  3. Who pays?

Anything less than the Productivity Commission first preference recommendation that “the Federal Government fund the entire cost, directing payments from consolidated revenue into a National Disability Insurance Premium Fund and using an agreed formulae entrenched in legislation” will be a disaster.

Having watched the disasters of the two decade long CSTDA funding model where states and the federal government shared responsibility any other option will be doomed to failure. The Productivity Commission was vitriolic in its recommendations that such a share or pooled option was not in the long term national interest and NDIS responsibility needed to be federally aligned. Let’s hope Gillard has read the productivity commission report!

LINK ("Disability: we've got the sense, now for the dollars")

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, November 17 2012

This is a project initiated by the Disability Services Commissioner to support effective relationships between service providers and the families of people using their services.

The objectives include the development of policy principles and practice guidelines for service providers and resources for people with a disability and their families.

The first meeting of the Project Reference Group took place on 14 June 2012. It is expected that the project will continue into early 2013.

We will be seeking input from individuals and organisations who have asked to be included in any future updates and broader sector consultations. If you would like to be included in these consultations, or would like to learn more about the project, please contact us at

We continue to be encouraged by the significant amount of interest this project has generated throughout the sector and look forward to working with all stakeholders in further enhancing this aspect of disability service delivery in Victoria.

LISA Comment: This project appears to have been mooted in mid 2011. Yet the first meeting of the consulting group, with only the Eastern Region of DHS taking an interest, did not occur until a year later, mid 2012. and is expected to continue into 2013.

With what has been a major concern of families since time immemorial, service providers working with families, especially most of the DHS Regions, who have always treated families as undesirables, especially those families who dare to question the service on behalf of their family member, the ODSC is, as always, talking the talk.

All service providers, especially DHS direct service provision, need to be obligated, to the consumer and their family, to prove they are providing services and support which is well within the direction, intention and spirit of departmental care policies, standards and values - Not expect the consumer and their family to prove they are not!

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 14 2012

The Victorian Government will invest over $300 million for disability services for people in the Barwon area over the launch period. This includes $290 million of existing funding. The Commonwealth Government will invest more than $190 million towards individually funded packages in the Barwon area. In addition, the Victorian Government has allocated $900,000 in the 2012-13 State Budget to prepare for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The Commonwealth Budget committed $1 billion over four years to launch the NDIS in five launch site areas across Australia. It included funding to establish the NDIS Launch Transition Agency, IT systems, research and evaluation.

LISA Comment: Please feel free to comment on these figures!

We see the this NDIS launch as little more than, more of the same old super despotic controlled DHS ISPs. A few crumbes for those who have nothing, but must be eternally grateful. Rather than real needs/entitlement packages... Like, what about those with highsupport needs who have been for ever on the DSR (waiting list) for a group home.

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 12 2012

MEDIA RELEASE: November 12th, 2012

Unless Julia Gillard soon commits to

  • Who will be eligible for NDIS
  • What level of services they will receive
  • Who will fund the NDIS

Then some people with a disability are in for a long wait!

September’s disability waiting list figures saw a rare drop – of one, from 573 to 572 – in the supported accommodation waiting list for people assessed as Category 1, the highest level of need.

While any drop is welcomed, if the Government continued to reduce this list by only one per month, it would take 47 years and 8 months to get us down to zero.

Of even greater concern is that the overall category 1 waiting list, including other types of services such as respite, therapy and behavioural intervention, has reached a new record high level of 1,296 individuals still waiting for services – up from 1,246 in August.

“To be assessed as category 1 on the Disability SA waiting list, it means that an individual has been determined to be at immediate and high risk of harm to themselves or others, or of homelessness,” Shadow Disability Minister John Gardner said.

“The fact that there are now 1,296 vulnerable South Australians with complex and difficult needs waiting for help is a sad indictment on Labor’s management of this system over a decade.

“Labor talks big on disability issues. The Premier and the Minister regularly use aspirational jargon to identify the sort of inclusive community we would like to be – and the Opposition shares their aspirations.

“However it all falls apart for the Government when it comes to actually delivering services on the ground, as demonstrated by the extraordinary blowout in the waiting lists.

“To put these figures into context, when Monsignor Cappo released the Government’s Strong Voices blueprint this time last year, there were 907 people on this waiting list.

Monsignor Cappo noted that South Australia was ‘sorely lagging behind the nation when it comes to supporting people with disability, as well as families and carers’. In the year since then, we’ve seen a 43 per cent blowout.

“Many of Monsignor Cappo’s recommendations remain unfunded. Even when the Government has announced some funds – such as $61.5 million for building new houses for supported accommodation – they get it wrong. Labor’s plan is to build only 63 houses for more than $60 million at nearly $1 million per house, while hundreds of others will miss out.

“For all of the Government’s rhetoric, Labor has failed to deliver for South Australians with a disability. They deserve so much better.”

Disability Services Unmet Need Historical Data Set

Data taken from The Provision of Disability Services in South Australia document produced by DFC and DCSI

Date Total Supported Accommodation (Category 1) Total Unique Clients (Category 1)

Jun-09 238 510
Dec-09 306 663
Jun-10 368 793
Dec-10 413 810
Jun-11 446 886
Jul-11 450 900
Aug-11 454 888
Sep-11 470 916
Oct-11 482 932
Nov-11 497 976
Dec-11 504 989
Jan-12 498 995
Feb-12 507 1 046
Mar-12 519 1 069
Apr-12 523 1 109
May-12 518 1 123
Jun-12 543 1 190
Jul-12 560 1 219
Aug-12 573 1 246
Sep-12 572 1 296

Thanks to SA Shadow Minister for Disability, John Gardner, for doing a good job.

Lisa Comment: Real NDIS is that which provides full entitlement quality of life services on an appeal based assessment of a person's needs. A bridge too far, is a broken, jokin' or token NDIS.

LINK to a Bridge too Far

Posted by: Hatton AT 04:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, November 09 2012

The commitment by the Federal government of Australia to launch the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) has the potential to be one of the most exciting instruments for turning disability rights into real rights. However, much will depend on the details of how the NDIS is designed. Early indications give grave cause for concern.

Article Link

LISA Comment: People saw the NDIS as the light in an otherwise very dark tunnel of hopelessness, and helplessness of begging and praying for a few crumbs of hand-out help. NDIS was flagged to be a fair-go for such disadvantaged Australians.

Whereas, in the cold-light-of-day, it is looking like being little more than a token gesture in the foreseeable future.

No matter what is said about well-to-do Australia, those with disabilities and their families are well down the pecking-order.

Even the high pecking order is suffering from the present economic slowdown - defence, education, health services, national dental, aged care, budget surplus etc, etc. Disability was never seriously considered against these heavy weights.

The publicly funded universal health care system, first called "Medibank", now "Medicare", was almost defeated at its inception in the 1970s.

Like most in the USA, no one wants to pay for universal benefits. All want lower taxes, which means less universal services.

With no chance of a Medicare levy getting the tick of approval from the general public, the Productivity Commission resorted to general, Federal, revenue, to fund the NDIS for which everyone’s hand is held out.

But, they claimed funding for the NDIS would be fenced. What a joke! No general revenue is sacred! When government needs money, they will raid any coffer/s!

Posted by: Hatton AT 04:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 06 2012

“People with disabilities and support groups in Queensland say the state's disability system is in crisis, and it doesn't have the funding to provide for many people's basic needs”, said Tony Eastley on ABC National Radio, November 6, 2012.

The Queensland Government is the only state insisting that it can't afford to take part in trials for the proposed national disability insurance scheme.

Story Link

Posted by: Hatton AT 04:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 01 2012

Story Link

Single parents and people with a disability are twice as likely to have serious legal problems than the rest of the population, a study shows. (STUDY LINK)

The study, commissioned by state and territory legal aid commissions, found almost half of people aged over l5 had experienced a legal problem in the past year.

The most common types of problems were consumer (21 per cent), crime (14), housing ( 12) and government ( 11) .

National Legal Aid chairman Bevan Warner said legal problems for single parents and people with a disability were "more pronounced" than for others.

"Disability is linked to increased rates of most problem types, including clinical negligence, discrimination, neighbour issues, rented housing, unfair treatment by police and government organisations . . . whereas single mothers' legal problems are more likely to be in the poverty space.”

The findings come after the federal government plan to get 100,000 single parents of parenting payments and onto the Newstart allowance - aimed at encouraging parents to enter or rejoin the workforce – passed the Senate this week.

"People with legal problems get sick, have relationship breakdowns or lose their home. This [does] not only have a severe impact on individual but an additional burden on the health system, family counselling services, government and community services and charities," Mr Warner said.

"The frustrating aspect of this is that our clients … also qualify for other government funded programs that rarely include a legal assistance component. It would be good if government recognised that people with a disability, single parents unemployed and indigenous people are more likely to have legal problems so we should be investing in more intensive services for them."

The study, conducted by the New South Wales Law and Justice Foundation, found that while a little more than half of Australians sought professional help for their legal problems, l8 per cent took no action and achieved the poorest outcomes.

Mr Warner said only the very poorest people could now access legal aid services, largely because Commonwealth finding had dropped, "falling from half of overall funding in 1997 to only a third this year.”

Hugh de Kretser, the Federation of Community Legal Centres' executive officer, said the gap between those eligible for legal aid and those who could afford a lawyer had grown into a chasm and called for the government to double its legal assistance spend.

A spokeswoman for Commonwealth Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the government had pledged $l .3 billion to legal assistance services over the next four years in the largest commitment in more than a decade.

LISA Comment: Most people with disabilities and their families are overwhelmed by the arrogance of many captive market service providers, especially government direct services

Government direct service, especially, consider they are always right, and consumers are always wrong. And that consumers should be content with whatever they get, or don’t get.

In Victoria, the Department of Human Services, Disability Services (DHS), have the total support of the various pseudo government departments – the Ombudsman, the OPA, the ODSC, VCAT, etc.

These, so called, independent statutory bodies protect the DHS against all but the most blatant consumer complaints.

This all powerful government department is further protected by its huge financial resources, providing it with the very best and most experienced legal support.

People with disabilities and their families, even if they can afford, or can get pro-bono legal support, are often denied access to those legal firms with experience and expertise in the disability field. Many of these firms work for the DHS, and are therefore unable to support those who challenge the DHS - as it would be a conflict of interest.

Incorporated organisations like LISA Inc. can approach PILCH (Public Interest Law Clearing House) for legal support to challenge that which is seen to adversely affect systemic service provision. Nevertheless, it is still that of jumping through blazing hoops and walking on fire to get to the actual law firm. Then the law firm has to convince PILCH that the case has merit. This means, “Is there any chance against the DHS.”

Recently, LISA Inc, with a very smart legal team, lost at VCAT against the old DHS legal guard. The case was that of the release of service provider independent accreditation results to people with disabilities and their families… Our legal team, and almost everyone we know considers it so obvious that these results should be available to consumers – if the consumer, the person with disabilities

Posted by: Hatton AT 04:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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