Friday, May 17 2013
The Department of Human Services, Disability Services, Victoria, is demanding a 50% increase in living expenses from its supported accommodation group home residents, to allow it to continue as a service provider under the NDIS, as well as help offset the state’s share of NDIS funding. This out-of-control government department is seeking to have its bread buttered both sides!
For years this department has made sure it had financial popularity to offset its very poor service record. This was done by underfunding the non-government services, so they have to charge their residents more to compensate for the shortfall in support-service funding provided to them by the department.
The department, consequently, being able to provide more support service funding to their own services, with their residents paying less than the residents of non-government services.
Whereas, now, the department’s priority is to stay a service provider under the NDIS. This means it has to take a lower support service fee to compete with non-government services. Having no scruples, the department is prepared to scalp its residents, in its desperate quest to stay as a service provider when all support service funding is from the NDIS. Yet it can be virtually guaranteed, the service level and quality will not change for the better in consequence of the proposed 50% increase in what DHS residents are currently paying.
Therefore, if the DHS stays as a service provider under the current public service, charity hand-out regime, developed under the block-funding culture, residents will eventually pay their NDIS, ISP, for similar department charity hand-out services.
Whereas if we consider the marketplace scenario, where the families of six residents in a supported accommodation group home are financially able to pay both the service fee and the accommodation (B&L) fee, “Would they not expect a first class service in every way, and with wall to wall customer service?” “Of course, they would! Indeed, they would insist it was!”
In total contrast, the captive market scenario is where the service fee is from government block funding or, in the case of the NDIS, from government in the form of an ISP, The natural question is, therefore, “Why is the captive market service not similar to the marketplace service?
In general, this is because service provider management and staff see residents and their families who take government funding, as bludging off the government. And consider residents and their families should feel eternally grateful for whatever the staff do or don’t do, and should never, ever, complain.
We ask the question, “Why is the level and quality of service so dependent on the funding source?” We suggest this is because service management and staff have a sense of safe employment in a captive market situation. Whereas in a marketplace situation, service management and staff feel responsibility is a requirement to retain their employment.
There is significant concern the captive market situation will not be broken with NDIS, ISPs. The captive market is far too entrenched to be enhanced by a mere change of funding source. An over-supply of service providers would be needed to make serious inroads into the captive-market culture.
Consequently, little more, than more of the same charity hand-out services, in contrast to entitlement services, will likely result from NDIS funded support services.
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.
- Who will be eligible for services?
- What level of services e.g. reasonable support is agreed?
- 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")
Thursday, August 02 2012
Article 40 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities stipulates that “The States Parties shall meet regularly in a Conference of States Parties in order to consider any matter with regard to the implementation of the present Convention.” Since 2008, four sessions of the Conference of States Parties have been held at United Nations Headquarters, New York.
The fifth session will be held in September 2012. The theme is “Making the CRPD count for Women and Children”. The following are the sub-themes of the Conference: “Technology and Accessibility”, “Children with Disabilities” and “Women with Disabilities”.
More information on the fifth session can be found at: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?navid=46&pid=1595
The Commission invites interested organisations to submit proposals that meet the criteria of the Commission’s international participation program
Networking/capacity/capability building events that will enable Disability Peak Organisations (DPOs) and Disability Advocacy Organisations (DAOs) to promote the work of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and/or meet Australia’s obligations under the UNCRPD.
Networking/capacity/capability building events that will enable DPOs and DAOs to promote the priorities under the National Disability Strategy (NDS)—Key Policy Area 2: Rights protection, justice and legislation.
Proposals should Disclose any other sources of funding available to them
Indicate need and justification for funding including any particular needs related to location and impact of disability on travel costs
Address each of the criteria identified in the Commission’s published template for nominations.
Information on how to apply for funding is available at: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/disability_rights/convention/funding_faq.html
Proposals are requested by COB Friday 17th August, 2012
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.
Thursday, April 26 2012
Around half the group homes in Victoria are fully and directly operated by the Department of Human Services, Disability Services, (DHS/DS), Victoria, with their directly employed public service management and direct care staff.
The other half of the group homes, throughout the state, are operated by non-government/not-for-profit, CSOs (Community Service Organisations), most of which are members of NDS (National Disability Services).
Funding for both cultures is ‘state government bulk funding – general revenue’, provided directly to the DHS by the state government. And, by government decree, the regulation of both cultures is by the DHS. This government department has, therefore, despotic and very direct and indirect control over the lives of almost all people with a disability, and their families, in Victoria.
With the DHS having total control of everything for people with a disability and their families throughout the state, they are able to adjust the funding and regulation to suit themselves – And they do!
This government department ensures its own direct care services are more than fully funded, and that its staff have few work value expectations set on them. Whereas, this department under-funds, over-regulates and makes life difficult for the CSOs.
These practices ensure the families of the residents of DHS group home need to do nothing in support of their family member, and they pay less, in comparison with CSO services who are forced to pay their staff less, and have to fund-raise.
DHS services are, therefore, often more attractive to families looking to pay less, and have what they see as government security of tenure for their family member.
The trade-off is, inconsistency of care, especially quality of life care. As government departments are unable to set, monitor and maintain, effective and consistent, work-value expectations on their public service management and staff, to ensure care services are within the direction, intention and sprit of departmental care policies, standards and values, and within community expectations.
DHS see their direct care services as ‘lucky to have’. They do not see their services as the consumer having an ‘entitlement to services’. So they feel entitled to treat the consumer however they like. With the consumers expected to consider themselves as lucky to get anything, feel eternally grateful and never, ever, complain or question the actions of the department.
Whereas, the primary intention of the NDIS is that of providing the funding for more services, and that all services shall be ‘entitlement services’, where the consumer is valued, and is provided with real and meaningful customer service.
Tuesday, June 07 2011
Mornington News, Victoria, June 6, 2011
By Terri Rew
A Mornington Peninsula carer’s group wants to stop unscrupulous landlords preying on people with intellectual disabilities.
Community Lifestyle Accommo¬dation is appealing for donations of land or money to build accommodation for adults with disabilities.
CLA chairman Paul Lyons said housing was desperately needed for carers and families who were missing out on support and services.
Dedicated carers with varying skills, knowledge and expertise in CLA say they are committed to tackling the critical lack of suitable accommodation, combined with the changing needs of adults with intellectual and physical disabilities.
The not-for-profit, CLA, wants individuals, businesses, private organisations and government organisations to donate land and cash for a new building on the peninsula.
In a two-part submission in response to the February 2011 Disability Care and Support Productivity Commission's draft report, CLA said many people with intellectual disabilities were living in poverty in boarding houses where they were vulnerable to exploitation by landlords and abuse by other residents.
The CLA submission stated: "They have no one to monitor their medications or medical appointments and are surrounded by co-residents - typically people with serious mental health issues and drug and alcohol abuse.
CLA is concerned for elderly carers with adult children suffering with physical or intellectual disabilities … If the parent is incapacitated in any way and can no longer care for their child, the concern is many are vulnerable to financial, physical and sexual abuse and do not have the skills to manage abusive situations. In fact, it is highly likely that they would not recognise the dangers or realise what is happening is indeed, abuse.
“This is an extremely urgent issue to address”, said CLA secretary, Marie Hell, who is a carer of her adult son.
Mr Lyons and board member Jenny Hopmans told The News they were concerned at the lack of support for carers as well as inadequate aid for people with disabilities aged over 18.
Many caring families were missing out on support and services that were desperately needed for them to enjoy “a simple life, as others do in our community”.
According to the Productivity Commission’s draft report "the disability support system is inequitable, under-funded, fragmented, inefficient and gives people with disabilities little choice” ;
Mr Lyons said CLA believed people with an intellectual or physical disabilities deserve entitlements, not charity hand-outs.
The CLA agreed with the commission’s recommendations that the Australian, state and territory governments form a task force to implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the reporting structure to the Council of Australian Governments and Heads of Treasury meetings.
"People have to act now. There are ageing parents caring for their intellectual or physical impaired adult child with hardly any support. Who will care for their children when they are dead?" Mr Lyons asked.
He said CLA was committed to providing a flexible, individual ser¬vice model that would enable adults with an intellectual disability to live independently of their carers.
Anyone wanting to help Community Lifestyle Accommodation can call Marie Hell on 03-5983-8785, or visit: