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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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Wednesday, February 06 2013
Survey for individuals with an individual Support Package (ISP), and their Family and Carers

You are invited to complete a survey for individuals with an Individual Support Package (ISP) and their family and carers.

This survey is part of the Evaluation of the Transition to Self-directed Approaches for People with a Disability in Victoria that Dyson Consulting Group is doing on behalf of the Department of Human Services.

This evaluation includes a review of the experiences and outcomes of individuals with an ISP and their family and carers.

The purpose of the survey is to hear your views about your experiences with ISPs, the benefits, outcomes and challenges with having an ISP and how they can be improved.

Survey responses are completely anonymous.

LINK to the Survey

LISA Comment: It has for ever been almost impossible to make block funded service providers accountable, especially government direct services.

Realising this, the Productivity Commission opted to put the consumer in the driver’s seat by placing the funding in the consumer’s pocket as an ISP. The consumer in control is fine for most services in life, as there is adequate competition.

And changing service providers is generally not as daunting as it can be for a person with a disability and/or their family shopping around.
Posted by: Hatton AT 05:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 28 2012

Most traditional block funded services for people with disabilities, like group homes and day services, have developed a captive market, charity hand-out culture towards consumers.

As demand for services has always exceeded supply, service providers (especially government direct services) can, and mostly do take the attitude of, “Take it or leave it, be forever grateful and never, ever, complain!”

Many of these traditional services provide little more than ‘basic minder care’, despite recognised care policies, standards and values say care should be quality of life care. Where demand exceeds supply, there is little motivation to meet service standards.

ISPs, money in the consumer’s pocket, will not drive service quality where demand exceeds supply. The ‘futures funding’ for day services is a failure in its intention, as the exercise was too small and restricted to motivate an increase in places and new providers.

National Disability Services is very actively motivating their CSO members to change from a traditional block funded, captive market culture, to a marketplace driven culture to accommodate NDIS ISP finding. This is fine in theory, but the concern of the traditional CSOs will be, “Will the ISP ‘passing-trade’ be sufficient to maintain their infrastructure?”

Businesses in the marketplace fail where they have insufficient ‘passing-trade’. The major supermarkets consistently do all in their power to attract customers - and they have a large audience in comparison with service providers in the disability field.

Equally, people do not start businesses without first ascertaining the potential demand for their service. Newly registered service provision in the disability field, and those with the infrastructure to provide quality support services, will be restrained by a number of factors which include:-

  1. the difficulty for, and the reluctance of many people with disabilities to change service providers,
  2. the potential for consumers use almost anyone in the community, including family members and,
  3. the potential for registered service providers to be held to account against service standards.

Whereas there is little real potential of unregistered service provision to be similarly held to account.

In conclusion: “Will the ISP process be little more than, more of the same in respect to the traditional culture of block funded service providers towards onsumers”? Whereas what is needed, is service providers who,

  1. always consider the consumer as at the centre of service provision,
  2. treat consumer as always right,
  3. treat the consumer as respected and valued and,
  4. provide meaningful evidence services are being consistently and meaningfully provided within recognised care policies, standards and values, not expect the consumer to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they are not.

The original intention of the NDIS was,

  1. to reduce the overall waiting list for services and,
  2. ensure all services were rights based, entitlement services where consumers are respected and valued.

Note: The word ‘consumer’ encompasses the person with disabilities, their family and other stakeholders.

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 21 2012

DHS Victoria will not, at present, make registered service provision from ISP funding mandatory. They say that family members, for example, may provide a service from ISP funds, providing they don’t live at the same venue as the person with the ISP.

Anyone paid for their services from an ISP is defined as a ‘Service Provider’, and is required to provide these services within DHS Standards.

The DHS ‘Standards Evidence Guide’, page 3, says, "Any services working directly with clients will need to comply with the Department of Human Services Standards".

DHS Standards Evidence Guide - LINK

LISA Inc is questioning the following:-

  1. If the person with the ISP were to use a relation living at a different location, that relation would be required, by the DHS, to provide support within departmental care policies, standards and values. Therefore, the said person would be required to know, understand and abide by the department's extensive and comprehensive care policies, standards and values, similar to registered service providers - in a similar way that we are all obligated to 'know the law (common law)'. Ignorance of the law, is not an excuse for breaking it.
  2. Therefore, both registered and unregistered service providers, paid from DHS funded ISPs, must know, understand and abide by the department's care policies, standards and values. "How does the department regulate, or propose to regulate unregistered service providers with equal opportunity to registered service providers in this regard?"
  3. Broadly, "What are the "other specific conditions and guidelines (the obligations)" which make registered different from unregistered service providers?"
  4. Given the obligations, "What are the benefits of being a registered, against an unregistered service provider?"
Posted by: Hatton AT 05:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, December 05 2012

Individualised funding continues to be the buzz word of this disability decade. It is truly a sign of how low things are in the disability community that new era solutions includes hyping new case management models that for many the benefits are problematic.

For 80-90 % of disability service clients will not be better off under individualised funding and Disability Speaks would caution consumers to proceed carefully and not be consumed by hype alone.

Can you imagine the furore that would erupt if the government announced that instead of improving Education systems to modern and acceptable levels they would simply move to package funding and shift management responsibility onto the parents of children to source and control their own education services.

Such an analogy is appropriate to today’s disability service world.

Service management is complex and complicated and comes with inherent risks and costs

Individualised funding is a service management approach and should be recognised only as such

It is not a solution to the chronic underfunding woes that dog the disability sector

Consumers need to be very careful about the future choices they are now being asked to make.

There is no doubt for some individualised funding and by extension self managed funding will be a major windfall.

For people with the acumen or the expertise to negotiate better service options may come out well in front

For others complexity, confusion and additional costs are guaranteed.

Read More LINK

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, October 13 2012

With the current trend towards ISPs for SDAs (Individual Support Package for Self Directed Approaches)- living in the community with support from an ISP, housing is always the big question.


Posted by: Hatton AT 05:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, September 27 2012

This cocktail has just as much potential to be a bucket of worms as the present, traditional, system of bulk-funded services for people with intellectual or multiple disabilities.

The Productivity Commission decided it was too difficult to attempt to make service providers accountable to consumers for service level and quality when they have little reason to be as they receive bulk-funding and have a captive market.

They put the consumer in the driving seat to establish marketplace driven quality services, by giving them the service money as an ISP to shop around for what they consider is best for them - being able to change service providers if they wish.

Having consumers in the driving seat, certainly provides the potential to realise customer service and rights based services.

The Productivity Commission appears to have assumed that consumers will shop amongst the traditional service providers. Whereas many parents/families, of people with limited intellectual capacity, will see ISPs as an opportunity to seek the cheapest possible service.

This could mean any unqualified, unregulated, unsafe, renegade service provider with no security rating, little training or experience, and no public liability insurance – the next door neighbour or backyarders, for instance.

The establishment and growth of such as these, will lead to the decline of traditional service providers who, at present, have the ability and resources to properly plan, integrate, maintain and monitor service provision packages, rather than ad-hoc processes by backyard operators.

Rather like one is expected to use a registered electrician, plumber, gas-fitter, etc. People on ISPs should be expected to use a registered service provider. And, those providing services for people with disabilities should be registered as having the necessary provisions to meet recognised standards.

Without a degree of regulation surrounding the use of ISPs to purchase services from registered service providers, the ISP principle could result in a lesser service/s than services under traditional, bulk-funding.

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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.



Posted by: Hatton AT 04:47 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 13 2012

The Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Community Services, Andrea Coote MLC, launched a new resource titled "Peer Support".

This is a guide to how people with a disability and carers can share what they know about self-directing their supports. It acknowledges the value of the collective wisdom that people with a disability and their supporters hold and the benefits of people sharing that wisdom and personal experience with each other.

The guide reflects the experiences and opinions of this diverse group of people.

There are limited number of printed copies to distribute, if there are particular organisations or people who you think could benefit from this guide, please contact Eilis Hughes on and she will organise for copies to be sent.

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, June 07 2012

Care for those with limited intellectual capacity (intellectual or multiple disability) has moved from ‘traditional institutions’ to ‘self directed approaches’(living in the community with circles of support).

Many traditional institutions were little more than confinements. They were built on very large blocks of land to help allay public fears, whilst the bureaucrats claimed the residents needed ample room for activities. In practice, the land was mainly isolation/privacy, as few outside activities occurred in comparison with the large land allocation of most institutions

This traditional isolation/privacy has been retained in many government mini-institutions – government group homes in the community. Community access for the residents of many government group homes, is often just a drive-around with staff in the front, and the residents in the back of the house mini-bus.

Life within many government group homes is ‘paranoid-silo-privacy’, where families are discouraged from knowing each other, or from knowing anything about the other residents. They are told, for example, their son or daughter enjoyed a co-resident’s birthday party. They are told their son or daughter went here or there with a co-resident. Names are never mentioned!

Those with almost any level of reduced intellectual capacity have a lifestyle many, many times less than the general population. They are effectively in confinement and isolation, given their limited lifestyle, through their limited ability and comprehension

They certainly don’t need more isolation in the form of the service provider inflicting ‘paranoid-silo-privacy’ on them. They need a lifestyle which is as open as possible, to compensate for the natural isolation created by their limited ability. They need an, ‘all-family-friendly-home’ and ‘Circles of Support’ to help break the isolation of their limited capacity. ‘Circles of Support’ are totally opposite to Paranoid-Silo-Privacy.

Parents are often the only people who take a great interest in protecting the interests of their sons and daughters. Yet we know that in order for people to have good lives into the future, it is desirable that they have friendships and relationships with other people who take a real interest in their lives.

People who have disabilities are more vulnerable and will be for the whole of their lives. They will need people in their lives, who like and know them well and even love them, who will stay close to them, advocate for them and ensure that their dreams for 'a good life' are fulfilled.

Service providers, especially government direct care services need to understand how and why their traditional ‘Silo-Privacy’ add to the natural isolation of those with limited intellectual capacity, and learn how to provide support to people, their family, friends and their support staff to aim for family friendly togetherness.

Parents have often held life long, protective, practical roles of all kinds. They often need to be shown that others can provide their family member with real quality of life care in an open and friendly environment, rather than silo style living practiced in many group homes – especially government direct care group homes.

Circles of Support increases the social networks for people who have been institutionalised, or are at risk of being institutionalised by ‘Paranoid-Silo-Privacy’ in group homes.

Circles of Support & Self Directed Approaches

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 31 2012

Mum worries about her 3 year old at kinder! Are they doing anything, or is it just minder care? But the little one can tell Mum …

Mum worries far more about her 33 year old with little ability and no meaningful communications, living in a government group home!

So what has mum to worry about with her 33 year old? It’s all about, “Who Cares”.

Who cares about those special things mothers do so well for their vulnerable family member, whether he or she be 3 or 33.

In most group homes it is the person’s key worker who is supposed to emulate the person’s parent – take care of the person’s special needs.

Those who can do little for themselves, need someone to take special care of them …

  • Proper showering and bathing.
  • Food prepared and presented nicely.
  • Dressed well in good and well fitting clothes and shoes – not stained and shabby clothes with buttons missing and/or dirty unkempt shoes.
  • Having good bed linen – not with a pillow like a biscuit.
  • Teeth cared for properly (brushed at least twice per day) – regular visits to the dentist
  • Feet cared for properly – taken to a podiatrist regularly.
  • Any skin damage or bruises attended to immediately
  • Ears checked regularly by a GP
  • Taken to a GP as and when needed, not just as and when convenient to staff.

Yes, we know there are many more, but we feel this shows the concerns most parents have in respect to group homes. And why many parents look to ‘Self-Directed Approaches” through ISPs. Nevertheless, not everyone has the health or energy for SDA, and must resort to a group home.

Posted by: Hatton AT 05:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 22 2011

Deb Rouget - Manager- Personalised Lifestyle Assistance Program (PLA).

PLA is a new statewide service that aims to inspire, support and empower people with disabilities and their families to manage their own funds and support.



Posted by: Hatton AT 01:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 16 2011

Those parents who have pulled their adult family member out of a group-home and day-centre, into a self-directed lifestyle, say it’s the very best thing they did for their loved one.

Many of these families did not move to self-directed-approaches ( SDA), solely because of the more subtle aspects of the SDA lifestyle quality, such as not being horded around like sheep. But because of the lack of quality-of-life-care, overall.

It is sad when, after all the years of CRUs and ATSSs, families finally become so sick of their loved one languishing in minder-care group homes and day centres - losing skills and self-esteem. When it is not rocket science to a least ensure residents/clients receive very meaningful and consistent quality of life care within recognised community standards. Rather than basic minder-care.

When young adults move from the family home, to a group home, their quality of life drops significantly. When they move from a Special, or Special Developmental School, to a Day Centre (ATSS), the level and quality of service frequently drops sinificantly. It is, therefore, easy to see why SDA is being promoted so strongly.

It is equally easy to see the need for Day Centres (ATSSs) to be staffed and funded by Education Departments, not Human Services. And that all group homes be operated by NFP/NGO/CSOs, under quality control contracts, and within NDS service quality guidelines.

Although the advocates of SDA, very actively encourage everyone to move to SDA, the very large number of people currently in group homes and day centres, means it is not an overnight transition - even if everyone was willing and able.

Certainly, people with a disability and their families can be encouraged towards SDAs, they should not be seen as languishing away if they choose not to move to a SDA.

The standards of day centres and group homes, especially government direct care group homes, need to be significantly raised, as do their customer relations, to ensure the person with the disability and their family are at the very centre of every aspect of service provision.

Although we accept there are many CRU and ATSS facilities who do their best to provide care and support as good as possible, those who support and promote self-directed-approaches (SDA), do not consider the concepts can ever be good enough.

See "Field" Web Site:

Posted by: Hatton AT 02:16 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, August 08 2011
ISPs (Individual Service Packages)/SDA (Self Directed Approaches) is the trend, and is the focus of the Productivity Commission for NDIS.

People with a disability and/or their families will expect their ISP to directly translate into hands-on service provision. Whereas, there is a service coordination factor to be considered.

In some regions it is very difficult to receive funding for service coordination, and then sometimes not provided in a consistent manner within the region.

There are different funding responses across the regions. Some using a formula, or accepting formula based costing from services, like: “1 hour service coordination to 10 hours direct support; or 1 hour service coordination to 5 hours direct support; or 1 hour coordination to 8.6 hours of support; etc. etc.” Clearly, little consistency.

The Productivity Commission have identified service coordination as an issue requiring further investigation.

It is interesting to note that government funds coordination of its own direct care services, but not the coordination of non-government services. As we have always said, government department look after their own service, at the expense of non-government service providing similar
Posted by: Hatton AT 12:40 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, July 31 2011
“Are we moving the full circle?”
People with a disability originally lived with their family, in the family home. Then institutions were developed. These were subsequently closed in favour of more individual support through group homes in the community. Now we see group homes, and similar, losing favour to self- directed approaches

CRUs came out of the failure of institutions, and SDA came out of the failure of CRUs and Day Centres. There are, however, those who say the principle of CRUs and Day Centres can never be right. They say it’s SDA or the highway!

CRU or SDA – That is the question!
LISA Inc believes it is “Horses for Courses”, and “SDA v CRU” will be the subject of a main LISA email bulletin, shortly. Nevertheless, LISA remains committed to consistent and meaningful quality of life care for people, no matter where they live.

We welcome your comments on this controversial subject!
Posted by: Hatton AT 12:32 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 19 2011
There are a number of people with disabilities who have had ISP's (Individual Support Packages) which are supposed to be funded individually rather than "block" funding. This was to make them more flexible and transportable and thus individual. Does anyone know the total of ISP's awaiting funding? How many people are stuck in "limbo" awaiting the painful bureaucratic process?
Posted by: Hatton AT 05:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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