In the Driver’s Seat - YES or NO?
Will the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) move parents/families from the Boot to the Drivers Seat? Only if the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) ensures state governments and service providers reduce their dominance on disability service provision. And, parents/ families assert their ISP (Individualised Service Package) rights!
There are four basic stages of supported accommodation service (care) provision:-
- The present bulk funded group homes/hostels, where the residents and their families generally have to ride in the boot.
- ISP funded group homes, where the residents and their families just hand-over their ISP to the same service provider, to continue to have a similar service to the present bulk funded group homes.
- ISP funded group homes, where the residents and their families assert themselves to be in the drivers seat (Those who pay, call the tune).
- ISP funded SDA (Self-Directed Approach), where the person with the disability and their family own and drive the car.
Many people with a disability, parents/families, may not wish to, or be able to use their NDIS ISP to SDA. They have, therefore, basically two choices 2 or 3.
Canada was one of the first countries to move to ISPs. Many of the families, who suddenly found themselves with money in their pocket to directly purchase services, or now demand better of their existing service, did little more than give the money to their existing service provider to carry-on as usual.
NDS (National Disability Services) the peak body for most CSOs (Community Service Organisations) is helping its members to coherently transition the service system into the new service delivery environment. The key of their focus areas will be:-
- The people with a disability, their families and carers are at the centre of service delivery.
- Achieving a sustainable, integrated and equally regulated disability service system, in readiness for the NDIS.
- High-performing organisations achieving real outcomes for people with a disability.
Equally, people with a disability, their families, carers, guardians, advocates and friends need to understand the potential of NDIS ISPs giving them rights based services, in contrast to the present charity based hand-out services - That they be in the drivers seat, not just hand-over the ISP to the service provider to do whatever they wish.
Much will depend on the real value of the persons NDIS ISP, as its value will be directly proportional to the dollar value of each assessment level, times the number of levels.
A person living in a group home now, would rightly expect to receive an ISP equal to, or more than the present percentage of bulk funding the current service provider is receiving for that person.
In a government direct service provision group home, the support dollars for a person with high support needs and challenging behaviour is around $140,000.00pa.