The disability service system is entering a period of transition. Stronger Together 2 (ST2) and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) signify considerable growth for the system and place people with disability, their families and carers at the centre of decision making.
Individuals will have choice and control over the services they access and the service providers they use, based on plans that support their goals and are right for their circumstances.
This will have an impact on how service providers attract and retain clients with their service offering, and how you work with individuals to agree service arrangements.
You will need to have systems in place to support self-directed services and individualised funding arrangements.
The NSW Government is committed to a sector that delivers contemporary, quality services and supports to assist people to live life their way. ADHC is reforming the way it works with service providers and investing in industry development to support the sector through the transition.
One key resource for service providers is the sector reform road map and self-assessment tool kit which will assist and guide organisations through the transformation process. The road map was developed in partnership with National Disability Services (NDS). Other initiatives delivered with NDS include:
- The NSW Industry Development Fund is in place to support you to achieve an integrated, efficient, innovative and robust service system. This includes putting people at the centre of service delivery. The road map and self-assessment toolkit were developed under the Fund.
- The Good Governance Program can help you develop your organisation’s governance structures and board management skills.
- The NSW Industrial Relations and Workforce Development project will help ensure you have the staff with the right skills for the future.
- The Workforce Recruitment Strategy aims to attract new employees to the sector. It includes the carecareers website which can help provide you with the employees you need.
There are other ADHC initiatives which can inform how organisations plan and prepare for the future:
- Living Life My Way consultations and outcomes report are a result of extensive consultations on the best way to implement person centred supports and individualised funding arrangements. The outcomes report will inform ADHC planning, and can provide you with information about service users’ expectations for the future.
- The Sector Planning Framework was developed to assist local communities plan services and supports for people with a disability in their area and will support the transition to person centred service delivery. In future, it will help you to anticipate and take advantage of opportunities within the market.
- The NSW Quality Framework for Disability Services utilises a risk based approach to regulation of quality in the sector to focus on your accountability to people with a disability as purchasers in a person centred environment. Support is available under the Industry Development Fund to implement the quality requirements under the Framework.
- Community asset building: ADHC is working with Foresters Community Finance group to enhance service provider access to finance to buy or develop property. In the right circumstances, financing can assist you to establish new facilities or to expand or upgrade existing facilities in preparation for the new service environment.
- The Human Services Network (HSNet) is a free, secure site for government and non-government agencies, enabling staff to locate local health, housing, family, legal and community service information, exchange information, make referrals securely and provide the best possible service to your clients.
Further initiatives will be developed as required in partnership with the sector, with regard for the Australian Government’s preparations for the NDIS.
Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reforms
Under the August 2011 national health reform package, the NSW Government endorsed a National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA) with the Commonwealth Government and other States and Territories. Under the NHRA and associated National Partnership Agreement on Transitioning Responsibilities for Aged Care and Disability Services, NSW has agreed to a split of responsibilities at age 65 (50 for Indigenous Australians) from 1 July 2011, for aged care and disability programs, including the Home and Community Care (HACC) Program.
The Commonwealth will assume full funding and operational responsibility for aged care services from 1 July 2012 and has committed to not substantially altering service delivery mechanisms before 1 July 2015. The NSW Government is working with the Commonwealth to ensure minimal disruption to clients and existing providers, and real improvements for clients and carers across the state.
In 2010 ADHC engaged Aged and Community Services Association of NSW and ACT Inc (ACS) to lead a state-wide consultation strategy with HACC stakeholders around the COAG reforms. ACS facilitated 17 consultations across NSW with more than 850 people from a range of HACC funded organisations, peak bodies and other key stakeholders. ACS has prepared a report that provides details about the issues and opportunities raised by the sector around the aged care and disability reforms. Electronic copies of this report are available upon request from firstname.lastname@example.org
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