“The Thin End of the Wedge!”
It has never been intended that people with disabilities shall pay for, or towards the cost of their support, as this would be punishing them for having a disability. In all other respects, they pay their way like others in the community. Yet we are seeing the rot setting in!
The current Day Service (ATSS) Guidelines say, the ‘Unit Price/Cost’ includes ‘Administration ‘. Yet, it goes on to say, service providers may charge for general administration. This is, therefore, the consumer contributing to their ‘support service costs’ – The ISP being insufficient to cover the support service costs!
Residents of DHS managed group homes, unlike the residents of CSO group homes, have never paid for, or towards their support service costs. They have always paid just their actual cost of living - which equates to around 55% of DSP. But, “For how long?” As the Minister recently decreed, all new residents will pay 75% of their DSP. The balance is, therefore, a contribution towards their ‘support service costs’!
This is an upwards movement towards financial equality with CSO residents, and the demands of the NDIS. CSO residents pay a higher residential charge, as CSOs are not fully funded by the DHS for their support service costs, as are DHS managed group homes. Therefore, CSOs have to charge their residents more, fund raise or use less support staff, or a combination thereof.
The NDIS will be seeking commonality of charges throughout Australia – seeking to keep their ISP packages as low as possible, and screw residents of group homes for as much as they can!
Extra 1: Better Safeguards in Disability Residential Services
Extra 2: Report of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability
Insurance Scheme: Terms of Reference : Executive Summary
Extra 3: Outcomes in Disability Services by Scope
Extra 4: DHS Promoting Better Practice
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