Monday, July 30 2012
Victoria has offered $42 million to bring a trial of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to the City of Geelong, the Borough of Queenscliff, the Surf Coast Shire and the Colac- Otway Shire.
The offer has two components. Victoria is willing to increase, for the purpose of a Barwon region trial, its current average spending of $19,300 per person per year in the Barwon region to meet the Commonwealth's benchmark of $20,779 per client per year for the 4135 people who are Victoria's existing clients in the Barwon trial site region – an amount of around $17 million in total over three years for a trial commencing in July 2013.
In addition, Victoria is willing to offer the Commonwealth a once-off facilitation payment of $25 million over the period of the launch, towards the operations and service delivery of a Geelong-based National Disability Transition Agency.
The Victorian offer would allow the Commonwealth to direct an additional amount of $25 million towards the cost of funding new clients in Barwon, funding that the Commonwealth will no longer need to allocate to the agency.
The $42 million being offered is in addition to the $240 million already committed by the Victorian Government to disability services in the Barwon region.
MEDIA RELEASE LINK
What level or type of service will this offer buy, when the service fee for each resident of DHS supported accommodation group homes, throughout Victoria, is $123,545 pa - according to the Auditor General of Victoria.
SERVICE ASSESSMENT LEVELS LINK
Thursday, July 26 2012
The recent COAG meeting failed to reach broad agreement from all states and territory leaders on the funding arrangements for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The question is, “What funding arrangements?”
The Productivity Commission recommended no state involvement in the NDIS. This was as a direct result of the basic reason for the NDIS - that the states had made, and were making such a mess of the provision of services for people with a disability and their families.
The Commission also recommended that NDIS services should have an ISP funding format – money in the pocket of, and control of consumers. Not in the pocket of, or under the control of service providers or state governments.
In Victoria, at least, the reason is clear to see. The Department of Human Services can’t even get its own very limited ISP process to be consistent across its regions or within its staff.
If the DHS are in anyway involved in the NDIS, services will be just more of the same we have now. What the Productivity Commission described as, “underfunded, unfair, fragmented and inefficient, and gives people with a disability little choice and no certainty of access to appropriate supports”.
State governments should be totally removed from providing or being responsible for the provision of services for people with a disability and their families.
The states should hand over all their existing services and associated funding to the federal government’s NDIA.
The NDIA would then be responsible for all services. Services provided only by non government service providers – community service organisations funded by NDIS ISPs paid directly to consumers – people with a disability and their families.
Sight should not be lost of the original intention of the NDIS, that of, (a) reducing/eliminating the waiting list for services and, (b) making services a right, an entitlement, rather than the present charity handout where people with a disability and their families are made to feel guilty for daring to ask for, or question services.
Reduction of the waiting list can only be achieved by eliminating the present bureaucratic waste by state government direct services and their bungling, bureaucratic and despotic control of CSOs, as well as additional funding from the federal government.
Entitlement to services can only be achieved by removing the present ‘service provision captive market’ where consumers are often treated as undesirables, towards ‘market place services’ where consumers are the centre of service provision – valued customers.
Wednesday, July 25 2012
All government funded services for people with a disability used to be, through ‘bulk funding’ – government general revenue paid directly to the service provider – money directly in the service provider’s pocket. This method equals little or no consumer choice of service provider compounding the natural captive market service provision.
With many families having major concerns over the quality of day service programs, they sought to have access to the funding, to access more diverse services – ISP funding to be, in principle, paid into the pocket of the consumer.
With the main intentions of the NDIS being to, (a) reduce the waiting list for services and, (b) get consumers out of the ‘take it, or leave it’ captive market, the Productivity Commission saw the ISP as having the potential to achieve market place driven service level and quality.
The Productivity Commission also recommended against State involvement in the NDIS. Yet we are moving towards this, and where Victoria, at least, is attempting to negate the basic principle of the ISP – that of the consumer having primary control of their support service funding.
We are advised that many families who have obtained an ISP from DHS Victoria are finding it to be a pseudo ISP, with the DHS insisting, in many cases, that they (DHS) pay the funding directly to the service provider.
In respect to day service client assessment levels (1 to 5.5), and the associated service level and quality, we are advised that most consumers are not provided with a service plan which shows the service, in-detail, that they can expect at their assessment level, and that the service provider’s percentage for overheads is the same at all assessment levels.
A consumer on level 3, at around $18,000pa, with the service provider overheads at 20%,cost would be $3,600. Whereas, a consumer on level 5, at around $31,000pa,with the service provider overheads at 20%, cost would be $6,200.
In summary: We call on DHS Victoria to either show they are consistently, across the state, providing ISPs within the core principle of ISPs – funding in the pocket of the consumer. Or, at least, under their control. Or show where their defined policies allow otherwise. And, we call on service providers to justify their overhead charges.
In conclusion: We are interested to hear from people with a disability and their families in respect to the concerns outlined above. If you wish to provide comment anonymously, please send us a letter.
Friday, July 20 2012
The NSW and Victorian Governments have joined forces in a partnership designed to move Australia towards a full National Disability Insurance Scheme, NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu announced today - July 19, 2012.
A joint expression of interest from NSW and Victoria has been submitted to the Commonwealth which would see the NDIS launched in the NSW Hunter region and the Barwon region of Victoria.
Under the joint proposal about 10,000 people would be involved in a launch in the Hunter and about 5,000 in Barwon.
This would give people with a disability and their carers in the two regions more power to decide what support and services they require.
“The NDIS will provide Australians with an assurance that if they, or a member of their family, have or acquire a significant disability there will be a properly financed, comprehensive and cohesive system to support them,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“Both governments are committed to the implementation of the NDIS in accordance with the recommendations of the Productivity Commission.
“With 57 per cent of the Australian population in NSW and Victoria, our States are established reform leaders.
“This means we are both well placed to successfully undertake the launch of the NDIS and then play a significant part in a national roll out.”
Mr Baillieu said the joint approach from Victoria and NSW means the two States can share expertise and information which will maximise the chances for the success of the launch.
“The partnership between Victoria and NSW will ensure the resources of both States are used to build on the best of our current systems and share learnings during the launch stage,” Mr Baillieu said.
“Premier O’Farrell and I agree with the Productivity Commission’s recommendation that the Commonwealth Government is best placed to provide the additional funding required for the NDIS launch,” Mr Baillieu said.
“Victoria and NSW are doing all we can to ensure the NDIS gets off the ground, but we need the Commonwealth to be fully committed,” Mr Baillieu said.
“It is essential the Commonwealth partners in this commitment to people with a disability in NSW and Victoria,” Mr Baillieu said.
News of the joint expression of interest from NSW and Victoria has been welcomed by National Disability Services - the peak body for non-government disability services. “This is a tremendous opportunity to have the two states which run the biggest disability service systems proposing to work collaboratively with the Commonwealth,” its Chief Operating Officer Patrick Maher said.
“It is going to be essential to find synergies across state systems and learn to work together in an integrated disability sector environment,” Mr Maher said. “The collaborative approach will help address the significant cross jurisdictional challenges that the NDIS will present us with us with.
“National Disability Services also looks forward to seeing what proposals other states bring forward for consideration.”
Media: Mark Tobin 0417 497 368 (NSW) Kate Walshe 0411 472 299 (VIC)
NSW & Cictoria NDIS Launch Sites
Vic Media Release
Friday, July 20 2012
Information on government departments and government funded organisations can often be accessed through the FOI process.
In Victoria, a simple written request and a small fee is all that is required. And, as can been seen through the following link, this aspect of DHS Victoria is often very helpful to applicants.
Wednesday, July 18 2012
The Policy and Funding Plan is an integral part of the Service Agreement which is negotiated by the department with funded organisations every three years for the delivery of services to Victorians.
The Plan describes the department’s policy framework, objectives, budget and funding initiatives as well as information in regard to the service activities.
The Plan contains detailed information regarding service activities, service standards and guidelines, targets, performance measures and data collection requirements.
Monday, July 16 2012
More than 100 intellectually disabled people in state-funded care are alleged to have suffered sexual abuse and other harm at the hands of their carers, amid accusations that senior public servants are trying to cover up incidents.
The Department of Human Services recorded 112 cases of alleged "staff-to-client" abuse in 2011-12 in government and community managed housing for the intellectually disabled across Melbourne. Many of the alleged abuse cases are serious, with molestation, withholding food, inappropriate use of sedatives, verbal and physical assault detailed in internal incident reports.
A carer later promoted to management has also been accused by colleagues of feeding cat food in sandwiches to an intellectually impaired resident at a state-run facility in Melbourne's North. (We suspect this was PRS)
The department has commissioned an external inquiry into how senior public servants responsible for managing disability accommodation in Melbourne's East responded to recent abuse allegations.
Tuesday, July 10 2012
VALID Inc. is conducting FREE workshops to provide people the opportunity to strengthen their understanding and knowledge about Individual Support Packages.
Would you like to learn more about how to manage your ISP? Workshops are for people with a disability and/or their family members.
NEXT WORKSHOP DATES
Tuesday, July 03 2012
Most families with an adult member in a supported accommodation group home and/or a day centre, have major concerns as to just what is happening to their vulnerable family member behind the closed-doors of these facilities - given many have few meaningful checks and balances, and little transparency.
Those group homes funded by the Department of Human Services, are subjected to visits by members of the community visitor program, under the Disability Act 2006, managed by the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA).
At present there is no independent evaluation of day services, where the outcome reports are available to families/the public.
Community visitor reports are not available from the OPA, as the OPA is not subject to FOI (Freedom of Information), CV reports are, however, available for all group homes funded by the DHS, under FOI from DHS Head Office in Melbourne - at a charge of $24.40 per FOI request.
Just make a simple written request to:
DHS, FOI: Manager, FOI Department, Department of Human Services,
50 Lonsdale Street, MELBOURNE 3000
Dear Sir, I request under FOI, copies of all the Community Visitor Reports for SSA, group home, at ……………………………, for the period, ………. to-date.
And, include the fee. Response time can be anything up to two months. But it’s worth the wait to see the CV view of the service