Day programs provide opportunities for people with disability to participate in their community and enjoy a range of purposeful, recreational and leisure activities. In NSW, day programs are generally provided by non-government organisations funded by ADHC.
Most day programs focus on the following types of activities:
- Skills development;
- Adult education, including vocational activities;
- Community participation; and
- Recreation and leisure.
Future directions in day programs
Historically, the majority of day program places have been funded on a block-grant basis. Block funding is the traditional funding model used by ADHC for delivering day programs. A wide range of day program service providers exist, targeting different support needs, skill development, target groups and disability type. Historically, entry into these services has been determined by the auspicing service provider.
Under Stronger Together: A new direction for disability services in NSW 2006-2016, ADHC undertook significant reforms including:
- Making services more person centred;
- Improving services for Aboriginal people and communities;
- Enabling service users to ‘self manage’ their program;
- Enabling service users to choose how they receive services (model options);
- Better provisions for ongoing services and support for people after they leave school, through adulthood and on to older age; and
- Greater capacity to provide individually funded day programs. Individual funding refers to the allocation of funds by ADHC to provide services for an individual service user based on their needs.
The above reforms led to the introduction of the Life Choices and Active Ageing Programs, which:
- Are more person centred and designed to better meet quality of life goals;
- Have improved capacity to meet diverse and/or complex support needs;
- Prioritise improved services for Aboriginal people and people of culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse backgrounds;
- Are individually funded and enable funding to be portable so that if a service user changes service providers then their funding moves with them to the new organisation;
- Provide a choice of three model options – centre based with community access, individual community based options and self managed; and
- Enable service users to change service providers and transition from Life Choices to Active Ageing as they age and/or move from one life stage to another.
Life Choices and Active Ageing
The Life Choices and Active Ageing Programs are funded by ADHC to:
- Provide contemporary day programs within a continuum of supports for adults with disability, based on a person centred approach;
- Offer options for service users to enhance their quality of life through meaningful day program activities, including participating in community life, where relevant;
- Provide greater flexibility and choice in terms of individual goals, needs, values, age, life stage, health, interests and other priorities;
- Provide 18 hours of support per week with reference to the provisions outlined in program guidelines; and
- Offer supports and activities that can be customised to the goals and expectations of each participant in the Programs.
Aiming High is an ADHC brochure that contains the stories and photographs of 22 people who have benefited from participating in the Life Choices and Active Ageing Programs. It describes the ways in which service users of diverse backgrounds and goals can utilise the choices available under these Programs.
Read Aiming High and the stories of 22 participants in Life Choices and Active Ageing:
- Aiming High - Part 1 (PDF, large file >1MB)
- Aiming High - Part 2 (PDF, large file >1MB)
- Aiming High - Part 3 (PDF)
Life Choices and Active Ageing service providers play a key role in the provision of day programs, which are often the central support in funded services for people with disability. Given the importance of these programs and the ways in which they enhance quality of life outcomes for people with disability, it is critical that service providers:
- Ensure their organisation, staff, governance mechanisms, complaints and feedback system and services reflect the values, respect and understandings needed to provide meaningful services for people with disability in a culturally, religiously and linguistically diverse society;
- Use a person centred approach for delivering services, activities and information to Program participants, consistent with the principles which underpin these programs;
- Develop and implement Individual Plans for each service user in collaboration with them as well as their ‘circle of support’ and consisting of 18 hours of services/activities per week with reference to the provisions outlined in the program guidelines;
- Assist service users, their families and support people with future planning and, where relevant, locate this process in the context of cultural expectations, obligations and perspectives - future planning involves many issues related to long term and whole of life services, support and care. See Planning for the future: People with disability (2007) by the Commonwealth Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs;
- Comply with all relevant legislative, program funding, monitoring and reporting requirements; and
- Regularly liaise with ADHC and participate in discussions with ADHC staff regarding service users, their support needs, transition and other relevant issues.
More information can be found in the Community Participation, Life Choices & Active Ageing Program Guide (PDF) and the Individual Funding Handbook.
To find out more about individual funding, visit the Individual Funding web page.
Day program model options
Under Life Choices and Active Ageing, service users choose how they would like services delivered to them. They can select from the following three model options:
- Centre Based with Community Access – refers to day activities involving small groups of people who may share similar goals and interests, generally in a centre arranged by the service provider and with access to community activities;
- Individual Community Based Options – refers to day activities in a range of community settings that are selected and arranged with the support from the service provider.
- Self Managed Model – refers to activities in various settings arranged and purchased by the service user with the support of an intermediary service provider who manages financial, legal and administrative requirements. Self Managed Model Guide (PDF).
My life, my way – Choosing the Self Managed Model for your day program (PDF, large file >1MB) is an ADHC booklet which provides more information about self management.
Participants in all the model options make decisions about their own services and have choices in terms of the activities that best meet their needs, interests, life stage and circumstances. There are many overlaps between these model options so it is possible for service users to draw elements from each one when it comes to participating in their chosen activities.
Service users can change their model options as their needs and circumstances change, however, this is contingent on the availability of appropriate service providers in the nominated area/s.
- Life Choices, Active Ageing & Community Participation Programs - List of Approved Service Providers (PDF)
Day program eligibility
Day programs are for people with disability who have moderate to very high support needs and who are not eligible for a Post School program.
As far as possible, adults participating in day programs should explore mainstream transport to commute to and from home. They should also be supported to develop the skills needed to travel independently.
Service providers may provide transport at the beginning and end of the day for a fee where mainstream transport is not available.
Transport during programs, for example from one venue to another, is part of the day program service.
Choosing an eligible Life Choices or Active Ageing provider
View information on eligible Life Choices and Active Ageing service providers in your area:
Life Choices service providers
Active Ageing service providers
Update on Self Managed Model service providers
From March 2012 there are additional service providers delivering the Self Managed Model in the Life Choices and Active Ageing Programs across NSW.
If you would like to contact a Self Managed Model service provider in your region, you can find their contact details listed in the booklets above.
Exits and Transfers in the Life Choices and Active Ageing programs
Service providers should complete the Transfer / Exit Form (PDF) when a service user is exiting their Life Choices or Active Ageing Program or transferring between programs, model options or service providers.
Life Choices and Active Ageing fact sheets
2009/10 implementation of the Life Choices and Active Ageing programs
Fact sheet #5 (March 2010) (PDF) provides information to Life Choices and Active Ageing service providers regarding the 2009/10 update of the guidelines for Life Choices and Active Ageing Programs.
Fact sheet #6 (April 2010) (PDF) provides information to Life Choices and Active Ageing service providers regarding new Life Choices and Active Ageing places in 2009/10 for supported accommodation clients.
Fact sheet - Self Managed Model evaluations (June 2010) (PDF) provides information on a number of evaluation projects being contracted by ADHC on the Self Managed Model across the Community Participation, Life Choices and Active Ageing Programs.
2011/12 Update on person centred and flexible day programs
Fact sheet - Person centred and flexible day and post school programs - update for individuals (October 2011) (PDF) provides information on changes to self management in day and post school programs.
Fact sheet - Person centred and flexible day and post school programs - update for providers (October 2011) (PDF) provides information on changes to self management in day and post school programs.