Ageing, Disability & Home Care

Accommodation Support Register (ASR) Guidelines

1 Introduction

1.1 Support for people with disability  

People with disability are part of our community, our workforce and our families. They share the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities as others and should be supported to access social, education, employment and housing opportunities, and to actively participate and be included in their community.

Like other members of the community, people with disability rely on informal support from family, friends, and a range of other services in the community to meet their physical, health, emotional and social needs.

People with disability should participate in identifying their support needs, designing their support plans and overseeing their support arrangements to optimise service outcomes. This self-directed approach is based on the premise that people with disability, with the support of their family and friends are best placed to make decisions about what they need for their own lives. Consideration of what supports are available when planning should include informal, mainstream and community supports as well as formal services from disability support agencies, as may be required.

Service providers can assist people to identify goals, explore services and plan their supports, participate in the community, undertake activities of daily living and develop skills. An accommodation support option may be required to complement informal, mainstream and community supports to enable a person’s needs to be met, specific to their disability.

The opportunities for people to exercise choice, gain control over their supports, build the skills necessary to plan and negotiate flexibility in support arrangements and self-direct supports will improve with the expansion of individualised funding arrangements. The Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) is supporting this process by facilitating access to individualised funding for people with disability, in readiness for the full implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by 2018.

1.2 Information in other languages and formats

Assistance to understand this document can be provided.

If you need an interpreter to help you communicate, you can call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450 and ask them to telephone ADHC on 1800 605 489.

If you prefer that we communicate with you verbally by phone, or in writing (for example via email), you can let us know.

If you are deaf, or have a hearing impairment or speech impairment you can contact us through the National Relay Service:

  • TTY users phone 133 677 then ask for 1800 446 470.
  • Speak and Listen users phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 1800 446 470.
  • Internet relay users connect to the NRS at www.internet-relay.nrscall.gov.au then input 1800 446 470.

Information about support for people with disability and their families can be found at www.adhc.nsw.gov.au/individuals/support/somewhere_to_live/accommodation-support

2 Purpose of the guidelines

The Accommodation Support Register (ASR) is used by FACS to record and manage the requests of people with disability for accommodation support options.

The accommodation support options that may be available to eligible persons include:

  • Group accommodation
  • Drop-in support
  • Individualised Funding

The ASR Guidelines (the guidelines) seek to promote good practice whilst providing for each FACS District to flexibly adapt their responses to local needs. The guidelines also intend to promote choice and control in disability support arrangements for people with disability. They are aligned with the Living Life My Way framework.

The guidelines:

  • provide information about the accommodation support options available;
  • provide information about how people with disability can be supported to make decisions about where they want to live;
  • provide information about the process of applying for accommodation support;
  • define the practice requirements in managing applications to ensure decision making occurs in a consistent, transparent and efficient manner;
  • provide advice on the essential principles guiding people with disability in accessing accommodation supports;
  • explain how the ASR is used to generate a shortlist of people for available vacancies; and
  • guide Allocation Committees in making decisions about offers of accommodation supports when they become available.

2.1 Application of these guidelines

The guidelines have been developed for FACS and non-government organisation (NGO) staff to assist people with disability through the process of exploring, applying for and receiving suitable accommodation support.

As there is high demand for support, processes for suitable allocations to vacancies need to be conducted expediently and in a fair and transparent manner.

Although the guidelines have been designed to promote good practice, it is acknowledged that Districts vary in size, population and the type and amount of community, mainstream and specialist services they have to offer. This means that certain aspects of the guidelines may suit some Districts more than others. Taking a more flexible approach aims to ensure that person centred approaches are promoted.

The FACS staff working in the following business streams may also find the guidelines useful:

  • Information and Pathways
  • Community Support
  • Service Development and Planning
  • Accommodation and Respite

2.2 Where do these guidelines apply?

The guidelines apply to support options allocated via the ASR, being:

  • Group accommodation (group homes, villas, apartments)
  • Drop-in support
  • Some types of individual funding, specifically Individualised Accommodation Support Packages (IASPs) and Supported Living Fund (SLF).

In relation to individual funding, the application of the guidelines is modified as described in Section 15.

Districts may choose to utilise these guidelines also in the allocation of services for other programs (e.g. Specialist Supported Living).

It should be noted that the ASR is a state-wide register which means people can register to live in areas where they are not currently residing.

2.3 Where do these guidelines not apply?

The guidelines do not apply to:

  • Large Residential Centres (LRCs), for which a ‘no admissions’ policy applies, the only exception being emergency admissions approved by the Minister or Deputy Secretary, which must set out a definitive exit plan;
  • Community Support Program (CSP);
  • Services funded under the Home and Community Care Program (HACC);
  • People who already receive services (delivered by either FACS or NGO) and want to individualise the funding associated with their supports. This can be explored further by:

3 Exploring support options

3.1 Information and decision making supports

People with disability who contact FACS Information and Pathways teams may be given a number of resources to help them make decisions about the best accommodation support options to meet their needs. These include:

  • Ability Links Coordinators (‘linkers’)
  • FACS and NGO Case Managers
  • FACS and NGO Support Planners
  • the nominated officer who coordinates the ASR process in the District

Please refer to the FACS website or the District Information and Pathways teams for further information about these roles.

By having contact with someone who provides decision making support, people can explore their goals, identify their support needs and understand the accommodation support options available. The Decision Making Tree provided at Appendix 1 can be used to support this process.

Refer to Appendix 1 – Somewhere to live Decision Making Tree

The suitability of different types of accommodation support, in relation to a person’s needs, may be explored further with the person using the following options:

  • Needs assessment
    An assessment of need may also be beneficial to assist the person in determining the support required. This may include, for example, a functional assessment by an Occupational Therapist.
  • Person centred support planning
    Person centred planning relies upon active listening to understand what is important to an individual now and in the future. It recognises a person’s informal support networks, including family and friends as well as mainstream and community support options, and seeks to include these supports in the development of an individual support plan. A support planner or other professional generally assists people with disability through the process of developing a support plan.
  • Getting Prepared – capacity building projects for people with disability
    The NSW Government has demonstrated its commitment to supporting people with disability, families and carers prepare for the NDIS by investing in 'Getting Prepared' –capacity building projects.

These projects are supporting people across the state to learn about how NSW is transitioning to the NDIS, how to develop their skills and enable participation confidently in individualised arrangements, and how to connect and share with other people with disability, families and carers. Further information about the projects is available on the FACS website.

4 Eligibility requirements

Access to specialist accommodation support is available to people aged under 65 years who have a diagnosed long term disability (as defined in the NSW Disability Inclusion Act (DIA) 2014) that affects the person’s ability to function without high levels of support. An easy read version of the Act is available on the FACS website.

The Information and Pathways team will conduct an initial check of a person’s eligibility to determine if the person has a disability as defined under the Act. Additional information about the person’s disability may be requested if sufficient information is not available. If the person’s eligibility status remains unclear an eligibility assessment may be required.

Children and young people

Family based placements are the preferred support arrangement for all children (0 - 15 years) and young people (16 - 17 years) and especially for children under 12 years of age. Family or kinship placement should always be investigated for children in the first instance. FACS provides support options for families caring for children and young people with disability. Further information can be found on the FACS website or by phoning FACS‘ Information and Pathways services.

In exceptional circumstances, where group accommodation is sought for a child or young person, consideration can be given to placing them with peers of similar age, developmental capacity and interests, which reflects a typical sibling group.

Information about group accommodation placements for children and young people can be found on the ADHC website in the following publication: Out-of-Home Care Policy to guide the provision of placements for children and young people (2012). Out of Home Care Policy

Placement of an adult and children together will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and must be approved by the FACS Deputy Secretary for ADHC. Approval will generally only be provided where the adult has very complex health support needs and/or such limited mobility that potential risk to self and others is minimal.

People with mental illness

FACS offers accommodation support to people with mental illness who have a disability as described above.

For people with dual diagnosis of mental illness and intellectual disability, and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FACS and NSW Health has been designed to commit both agencies to work together to promote a safe and coordinated system.

Support for people with a primary diagnosis of mental illness as defined under the Mental Health Act 2007 is coordinated by NSW Health except where this is provided in accordance with the Boarding House Relocation Program and Integrated Services Program.

The Housing and Mental Health Agreement 2011 outlines how FACS and NSW Health support people with mental health problems and disorders who are living in social housing or who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

5 Accommodation support options

Historically, supported accommodation for people with disability in NSW has been provided in group homes, usually for up to five people with funding going directly from FACS to the service provider. Similarly drop-in accommodation support has been provided to people living in their own homes or rental accommodation with the service provider funded directly by FACS. These service-centric approaches gave people with disability less choice and control over how supports were delivered.

As the sector moves towards the NDIS people with disability will have more opportunity to decide how funding for their support is managed and how their support is delivered.

FACS is working progressively towards individualising accommodation support arrangements so that people with disability have the opportunity to express an interest in individual funding. Current options include but are not limited to:

  • using individual funding to live in private accommodation, private rental or social housing;
  • using individual funding to remain living with family; and
  • combining individual funding with others to live in a group arrangement.

Further information about individual funding is available at Section 15.

Accommodation support options funded to a service provider include:

  • living in private or public accommodation and receiving drop-in support from a designated service provider (NGO or FACS); and
  • living in a group accommodation and receiving more intensive support from a designated service provider (NGO or FACS).

It should be noted that people can accept a vacancy with a service provider that is not individually funded and then apply to have their support funding individualised. This is in accordance with the Living Life My Way reform (see section 2.3).

FACS also offers accommodation options that have been developed for people with specific support needs. It should be noted that these services are no longer considered exclusive to individuals with these specific support needs. Where a specific group vacancy is unable to be filled it can be allocated to a prioritised person who does not fit the specific group criteria, but does match the vacancy profile criteria and for whom identified risks can be managed. This serves to improve the efficiency and responsiveness of the existing accommodation support system.

In such cases, the District Director can approve and inform the Director Accommodation Programs of the variation of the vacancy being used outside the program’s traditional target group, to ensure vacancies are allocated appropriately and not left vacant.

The District Director or delegate will e-mail Community Access Allocations, attention Director Accommodation Programs, to allow monitoring.

Further information about accommodation options targeted for specific support needs is available at Appendix 2.

Refer to Appendix 2 – Accommodation options for specific support needs

5.1 Group Accommodation

Group accommodation has typically been presented as a house with four to five bedrooms located in a local community. There are now a variety of housing types that can support group living including houses, apartments, and supported villas. Housing can be privately owned or rented, managed by Housing NSW or a community housing provider, or owned by FACS or a NGO.

People with disability can opt to live in houses that are funded directly by the NSW Government or combine their individualised package with others to live in an arrangement of their choosing. Government funded and operated group accommodation services usually offer:

  • Support suitable for people with disability with high and complex support needs;
  • Daily active support with access to 24 hour assistance; and
  • Rostered staff support that is based on the assessed needs and individual routines of the group of people living together.

5.2 Drop-in support

Drop-in support usually provides up to 35 hours per week of living skills assistance to a person with disability, to help them maintain a tenancy or independent living within their community. Drop-in services can be provided in the person’s own home, private rental accommodation, social housing or in a residence that is owned or operated by a service provider.

Features of drop-in support include:

  • It is designed for people who have low to moderate levels of support and higher levels of decision-making capacity.
  • It can be provided to people who live alone or with others, including family, in their own home or leased accommodation.
  • It provides active support to people to help them develop the skills needed to live as independently as possible.
  • The amount of support provided will be determined by the person’s disability support needs taking into account their existing supports (family, friends, and other services) and capacity to develop and maintain independent living skills.

The My Life and Somewhere to Live Easy English booklets available on the FACS website help to explain these supports.

FACS has funded service providers to deliver drop-in services to people with disability. People in receipt of an existing drop-in support service, also have the option of individualising their support arrangements (see section 2.3).

6 Requesting accommodation support

Summary

                                                                       
Action Timing/notes
Application made by person/guardian/ case manager with consent  
Application endorsed and person registered
Type of support
Location(s) desired
Immediate or future need
Within 21 days from date application received.
Application not endorsed Applicant may seek review
Review of not endorsed application Within 21 days from date review request received.
Records made in CIS and TRIM As required

6.1 Application requirements

An application for accommodation support can be completed with or without the assistance of FACS staff or other support workers as determined by the district, and involves the completion of the ASR Application Form and Client Risk information. Application documents can be obtained from the Information and Pathways service or from the FACS website. It can be beneficial for a person to receive assistance from a case manager or support planner, for example, to investigate suitable alternative support options at the point of referral, while waiting for an accommodation support option and/ or during transition planning.

Refer to Appendix 3: ASR Application form

Refer to Client Risk Policy and Procedures (Client Risk Profile and Management plan) available on FACS’ website.

6.2 Submitting an application

When a person applies for an accommodation support option, they may be contacted by FACS to discuss their circumstances and support needs. Housing options (private rental, social or community housing), mainstream support and community support options including the former Home and Community Care (HACC) now known as the Community Care and Support program (CCSP), may be discussed to ensure all suitable alternate support options have been considered.

Due to the high level of demand for accommodation support, it benefits the person with disability to  consider all alternative support options. Contact can be made with Information and Pathways if help is needed to pursue these options.

It is important to understand that the ASR is not a waiting list. The allocation of accommodation support is affected by suitable vacancy availability and decisions are made on a priority of need and suitability basis rather than the length of time a person has been registered. The period of time a person may have to wait for an allocation of support is therefore not determinable.

6.3 Location selection

Location preferences for accommodation support must be given, particularly when people are applying for group accommodation support. Locational preferences should also be given when people are seeking drop-in support options in a specific area or District.

A person’s choice of location is based on the selection of one or more Local Government Areas (LGAs). The district may suggest that a wider area be selected to increase a person’s opportunity of being considered for vacancies. To assist with this decision making process, maps of the fifteen FACS districts in NSW and lists of included LGAs are provided at Appendix 4.

People should identify and inform FACS of all the locations where they would be willing to live in order to receive accommodation support. This prevents offers being made to a person in locations that would not be acceptable e.g. an offer that is too far away from family and friends.

However, due to the limited supply of group accommodation, it is advised that people select as many locations they would be willing to live in, so their chances of being offered accommodation are not unduly limited.

Refer to Appendix 4 – LGA guide

6.4 Consent

The person or their decision maker should provide written consent to enable an ASR application to be considered by the District. If written consent is not practicable to obtain, witnessed oral (spoken) or otherwise signified (such as using a signing system or augmented communication device) consent may be accepted.

When a person is not able to provide informed consent, or there is complexity in determining the person’s ability to provide informed consent, and they do not have an appointed decision maker to act in their best interest, advice may be sought from the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. This advice should be documented in the application and recorded in the FACS Client Information System (CIS).

6.5 Registration decision-making process

The District is responsible for determining a person’s application and making a decision to register the person on the ASR. The decision-making process needs to be timely, efficient and minimise administration. It should also draw upon staff expertise in the area of decision support, as may be required.

During the decision-making process the person, their decision maker or their nominee may be contacted to provide additional information or to clarify information provided in the application.

If seeking additional information leads to changes to a person’s request for accommodation support, the person or their decision maker must agree to these changes. Any changes made to the person’s request for support should be recorded by FACS in CIS.

If the person or their decision maker does not agree with the suggested changes, the information in the original application is maintained and a decision is made based upon the information in the application.

The application will be either registered, or not endorsed.

6.6 Registering the application

To register the application, the person’s details are placed on the ASR and recorded in CIS and TRIM (the electronic record information management system for FACS). As the ASR is a state-wide register, people can register to live in a number of areas including those where they are not currently residing.

6.7 If an application is not endorsed

If an application for accommodation support does not meet the requirements for registration and so is not endorsed, details of the decision-making process should be recorded in CIS and TRIM. The District will provide the reason for this decision to the person and/or their decision maker and any other identified contact person.

6.8 Advising the person about the outcome

The District will advise the outcome of the application for accommodation support to the person or their decision maker and other nominated contact persons within 21 days of the completed application being received by the District. Exceptional circumstances may extend this period.

Communication should be provided using a method that best suits the person’s needs. Additionally the District will provide the reason for this decision to the person and/or their decision maker and any other identified contact person, in writing.

6.9 Review of decision to not endorse

If a person is not satisfied with the decision made by FACS not to endorse an application, they can seek that the decision be reviewed, adding any additional information to their application. The request for review should be sent to the District Director of the District where the original application was made.

6.10 Registering a need for future accommodation support

Where a person is not willing to consider an immediate offer of accommodation support they can choose to place their details on the ASR and indicate an anticipated future need for support.

People registered on the ASR with an anticipated future need for accommodation support are not considered for any current vacancies.

It is important that Information and Pathways is contacted when a person’s needs change and they are now willing to accept an offer of support, if made. Until FACS is formally notified of this change, the person’s need for accommodation support will not be considered. A second application to the ASR is not required to transfer to the immediate need register.

To register an anticipated future need for accommodation support the person may complete the ASR application form at Appendix 3.

7 Maintaining and updating information

Summary

Action Timing/notes
Review application for immediate need (refer to CIS database) Annually
Adjust person’s service need and priority as indicated by review As required
Applicant or decision maker confirms or updates support service need As required/annually
Applicant need ceases and FACS is advised Cancel the service request in CIS

7.1 Reviewing an application

 FACS uses the information provided in a person’s application and entered on the ASR to offer suitable accommodation support options, as they become available. It is therefore crucial that people seeking accommodation support regularly update their information to ensure it remains relevant to their support needs and accurately reflects their circumstances.

Registered requests for accommodation support should be reviewed at least annually and/or when the person:

  • advises FACS that their support needs or circumstances have changed (this includes making telephone contact with the Information and Pathways service); or
  • has reviewed their support plan and identified changed needs in the process.

7.2 Review roles and responsibilities

Districts will use the CIS database to identify people on the ASR requiring an annual review of their information. Some people may require assistance to update their ASR information. Districts should assist these people to gain access to appropriate support. The review of a person’s ASR information can result in a change to the priority status of their Accommodation Support Register service request.

FACS

The District is responsible for:

  • initiating the review process by contacting the person or their decision maker;
  • confirming the accuracy of the information held, including conducting any assessments it considers necessary; and
  • facilitating support to enable the review of a person’s accommodation support need, if required.

The person registered or their decision maker

The person registered or their decision maker is responsible for:

  • confirming the person’s need for accommodation support;
  • contacting FACS if the type of accommodation support or their locational preferences, contact details or circumstances change;
  • requesting assistance, if required, from the District or a disability support provider to review their situation when needs change;
  • advising FACS if support is no longer required; and
  • providing consent and authority to accept a placement offer.

Allocated decision support person/professional

Information and Pathways can provide assistance with referring a person to a case manager, or other suitable professionals, to assist the person and their family/carer to update their application.

An allocated decision support person is responsible for:

  • supporting the person or their decision maker to contact FACS when the type of accommodation support required, their locational preferences, contact details or circumstances change;
  • providing support to the person or their decision maker when FACS initiates a review process.

7.3 Review of accommodation support request

If a person no longer has a need for accommodation support and/or their needs have been alternatively met, the District can complete or close the request in CIS. The District should provide written advice to the person or their decision maker confirming this decision and encouraging them to reapply should support be needed in the future.

The District should support the person’s access to mainstream and community services or refer to an Ability Links Coordinator, if additional assistance is required to identify those options that may be suitable and could make a difference to their lives.

Person is not contactable

Where a person who is registered on the ASR is not contactable by phone or e-mail, the district should attempt to contact the person by:

  • sending a letter to their last known address;
  • contacting any professionals previously involved with the person; and
  • checking the telephone directory.

If making contact continues to be unsuccessful, the district can close the person’s Accommodation Support Register service request. All contact attempts should be documented in CIS.

8 Declaring vacancies

Summary

Action Timing/notes
For a planned vacancy, service provider notifies FACS as soon as they become aware and provide anticipated date of vacancy As soon as aware of forthcoming vacancy
Service provider notifies FACS of service vacancy and provides vacancy profile (Appendix 5) Within 7 days of vacancy occurring
FACS accepts vacancy profile or requests amendments Within 7 days of receipt by FACS
If there is a proposal to reconfigure the vacancy: draft reconfiguration plan provided with vacancy notification. Within 7 days of vacancy occurring
FACS reviews or accepts reconfiguration plan Within 7 days of receipt of plan
Service provider submits amended vacancy profile if required. Within 7 days of request by FACS
Amended vacancy profile accepted, then CIS updated with vacancy Within 7 days of receipt

The disability service provider (FACS or NGO) is required to formally advise FACS within seven (7) days of a vacancy occurring, by completing and submitting the Vacancy Profile at Appendix 5. This includes group and drop in support vacancies. See section 15 regarding the allocation of individual funding.

Refer to Appendix 5 – Vacancy profile

FACS will confirm that the Vacancy Profile is accurate and that the vacancy is funded before it is confirmed and entered in CIS. The vacancy profile should identify the type and level of support offered as well as location, if applicable. Sufficient information needs to be given in the Vacancy Profile to allow effective matching and contribute to a successful allocation of support.

For options of accommodation support where the accommodation is shared it is essential that the Vacancy Profile provides sufficient detail about the characteristics of the accommodation. The Vacancy Profile should also provide sufficient de-identified information about other people sharing the accommodation to enable effective service planning.

If possible, FACS can arrange for a representative to visit the accommodation where a vacancy exists to meet with residents and staff, expand the vacancy profile and discuss critical elements for successful allocation to the vacancy. Alternatively FACS may request that a service provider representative attend a meeting to discuss filling the vacancy.

FACS should seek to complete vacancy profile review and update CIS within seven days of receipt of the vacancy profile.

8.1 Planned and unplanned vacancies

A planned vacancy can arise for many reasons such as a person in a group home choosing to transition into a more independent living arrangement or a person’s move into residential aged care. An unplanned vacancy may occur through the death of a person or need to relocate to meet sudden change in needs (e.g. for safety).

For all vacancies, the service provider must provide a Vacancy Profile within seven (7) days of the vacancy occurring. For planned vacancies the service provider must also advise FACS as soon as they become aware of the forthcoming vacancy, and its expected date of occurring.

8.2 Service reconfiguration

The accommodation service system needs to be able to meet people’s changing needs and to be responsive to meeting the individual needs of people prioritised for accommodation support. Reconfiguration can assist services to create this flexibility and optimise service outcomes.

A service reconfiguration generally involves a person(s) in a group home agreeing to move to alternative premises, including movements across districts. This usually occurs prior to the declaration of a vacancy in order to address suitability issues and improve the outcomes for people living in groups.

Service configuration across Districts may need District Director approval, with priority on filling the vacancy with a suitable person occurring without unnecessary delay.

Following a reconfiguration, the vacancy becomes available in a location other than where it initially occurred. Consent from the person with disability, their family and/or guardian is required when it is proposed that any person should move as a result of a reconfiguration plan. Changes in the CIS (for ADHC operated) and the Minimum Data Set (for NGOs) should be made accordingly.

When reconfiguration is proposed the service provider must provide FACS with a draft reconfiguration plan which complies with their funding agreement. FACS and the provider will discuss the draft plan where necessary to finalise it as a matter of high priority.  The provider should notify FACS within seven (7) days of the vacancy being confirmed by submitting this with the Vacancy Profile. Where possible the district should seek to notify acceptance of the plan within 7 days of receiving it.

See Section 11.2.1 regarding when a facilitated reconfiguration process may be appropriate.

8.3 Additional requirements

Approval by FACS is required if the vacancy declaration period extends beyond 7 days. A request for an extension of time to fill or declare a vacancy should be accompanied by a plan stating the reasons for seeking the period extension, actions required to address these issues, other options considered, the person responsible for action and the revised timing.

Where timing is extended for any reason, the district is to ensure that requests for extensions are carefully considered and monitored, delays are minimised and that processes are followed in a timely manner so that vacancies can be allocated as quickly as possible.

9 Developing a shortlist

Summary

Action Timing/notes
Vacancy profile accepted
Refer section 9 above
Short list based on:
Location
Person’s support needs
Priority of need
Priority table below
Refer Suitability Considerations document See Appendix 6
Check each preliminary short list candidate ASR information for accuracy and currency Priority updated
Allocation committee convened Refer section 11 below

Once an accommodation support vacancy has been confirmed, the ASR is used to identify people registered whose support requirements match the level of support offered by the vacancy. A shortlist is developed, generally of up to five (5) people, based on the three following criteria.

Location

A match needs to occur between the location of the vacancy and those people on the ASR who have selected to receive accommodation support in the same Local Government area (LGA).

Suitability

The vacancy available must adequately meet the identified accommodation support needs of those people on the ASR who are matched to the vacancy via the thorough assessment processes detailed in these guidelines. In determining the person best suited to sustainably fill a vacancy, the following factors should be considered:

  • a match of the support needs of the prospective person with the vacancy profile;
  • where the risk profile of the prospective person includes behaviour risks or vulnerabilities, clinical advice is required on the suitability of the person for the vacancy in consideration of the support needs of the current service recipients (for example, clinical advice obtained from an Optimal Service Model Report and Comparison Report against the proposed model as indicated in the Support Model Assessment Practice Guide); clinical reports need to be provided to assist in making informed decisions about placement suitability with adherence to the timeframes for managing vacancies in appendix 12;
  • maintaining the individual’s social networks, family relationships and community connections;
  • maintaining the individual’s access to meaningful daytime activities;&
  • living with others in a shared support setting.

The Vacancy Profile must be used to assist the Allocation Committee in making decisions around the suitability of the grouping as outlined in the Suitability Considerations document at Appendix 6.

Refer to Appendix 6 – Suitability considerations

See section 15 regarding a person’s suitability for individual funding.

Priority for group and drop in accommodation

Priority is set out in the table below. If more than one person is considered suitable for the support option available, the person whose situation demonstrates a higher priority of need is selected.

In the event that a consensus cannot be reached, the committee chairperson will make the final decision based on the information available. Alternatively, two or more candidates may be sent to the service provider for consideration of a group home or drop in support vacancy. If the decision is contentious, the matter may be referred to the District Director.

High
  • homeless or effectively homeless
  • at imminent risk of homelessness, such as because the person’s informal support system has broken down
  • the person is currently receiving short term (STF) funding from FACS to meet an immediate support need
  • the person’s support needs have increased and the family is unable to continue to meet this need.
  • the person’s primary carer is older than 65 (or 45 or over if an Aboriginal person or a Torres Strait Islander), or has ageing related support needs that require formal support
  • the person is at risk e.g. losing a tenancy or entering a more restrictive placement
  • a person exiting from the Integrated Services Program
Moderate
  • a person is requesting to move from one accommodation place funded by FACS to another accommodation place funded by FACS where the current place does not adequately support a person’s living arrangements or social connections
  • a person whose current living arrangements are not likely to be sustainable or whose current placement is showing early signs of breakdown
Low
  • a person seeks relocation other than as a result of change of their support needs or
  • for any other reason not mentioned above.

9.1 Confirming information in application

Once the District has developed a preliminary shortlist, each person’s ASR information should be checked to ensure that it is current and provides sufficient detail to enable the Allocation Committee to make a fair decision. Information relating to a person’s priority status should be confirmed and/or updated by the District officer as part of the shortlisting process.

Where a case manager or other professional is required to assist in updating a person’s ASR information, it is the responsibility of FACS or the NGO disability service provider involved to ensure that this information is relayed promptly. This will avoid disadvantage to the person in being considered for a vacancy in accommodation support.

10 Allocation Committees

Allocation Committees oversee the management of District vacancies across a range of accommodation support options.  Some Districts may choose to join resources and run Regional Allocation Committees.

Specific functions of the Allocation Committees are to:

  • consider shortlisted applications;
  • recommend people suitable for the accommodation support option available; and
  • document and forward their recommendations to the District Director.

10.1 Allocation Committee membership

Each Allocation Committee will have a:

  • Sponsor – a District Director or Executive Director, Large Residences and Specialist Supported Living (LRCSSL). The sponsor is responsible for providing the resources necessary for the Committee to operate in line with guidelines.
  • Chairperson – a person appointed by the District Director or Executive Director, LRCSSL to coordinate the activities of the Committee, to give directions to the Committee to ensure compliance with these guidelines by Committee members and to monitor and report compliance with the policy.
  • Members – persons appointed by the District Director or Executive Director, LRCSSL because of their experience in the delivery of accommodation and support services, or their knowledge of people with disability who require accommodation support. Members may nominate an alternative to take their place. An alternative nominee must be approved by the District Director or Executive Director, LRCSSL before being accepted as a member.

As a minimum, standing members on each Allocation Committee must include:

  • two (2) FACS officers appointed by the responsible District Director or Executive Director, Large Residences and Specialist Supported Living, one of whom is the chairperson;
  • two (2) people independent of FACS, at least one of whom is a relative of, or advocate for, a person currently receiving accommodation services in that FACS District; and
  • two (2) representatives of an NGO funded by FACS to provide accommodation services in that FACS District.

Not all members are required to attend each meeting. The quorum for each Allocation Committee is:

  • one (1) FACS staff member appointed by the responsible District Director or Executive Director, Large Residences and Specialist Supported Living as the chairperson;
  • one (1) person independent of FACS who should be a relative of, or advocate for, a person currently receiving accommodation services in that FACS district; and
  • one (1) representative an NGO funded by FACS to provide accommodation services in that FACS District.

Committee members who are not FACS staff are appointed to the Allocation Committee for one year. Expressions of interest for membership of Allocation Committees are sought annually or more often if Committee vacancies arise. If the Committee uses a voting system the Chairperson will have the casting vote.

10.2 Supplementary representatives

The service provider holding a vacancy may be invited to nominate a representative to inform the Allocation Committee about a particular vacancy and its service characteristics. An existing resident or resident representative may also be considered.

In these cases potential conflicts of interest should be considered and addressed. A service provider representing a vacancy should not unduly influence the decision made by the Allocations Committee (refer to section 11.3).

Districts may also invite a case manager or other professional to present an overview of any person being considered for a vacancy or individual funding allocation, or to provide any required additional information. The essential responsibility of this person is to provide an informed person centred, strengths based representation of a person to the Committee in the interests of supporting an effective allocation process.

10.3 Potential conflicts of interest

Members of Allocation Committees are required to declare any potential conflicts of interest in matters being considered by the Committee. Under the following circumstances, the chairperson will ask the Committee member to leave the meeting whilst the placement in question is being discussed:

  • when the Committee is considering a vacancy in an NGO accommodation service managed by the Committee member’s organisation, or
  • if a member of the Committee is a relative or advocate of a person being considered for a vacancy or individual funding allocation, or
  • the member is a relative or advocate of a person in a service where the vacancy is being considered.

A member of an Allocation Committee may be removed from the Committee by the District Director if they repeatedly:

  • fail to attend meetings without a reasonable excuse;
  • fail to notify non-attendance;
  • breach the confidentiality of Committee deliberations;
  • fail to act according to the chairperson’s directions made under this policy or its procedures; or
  • fail to follow these guidelines or are convicted of an offence, excepting a minor traffic offence.

11 Allocation of accommodation support

Summary

Action Timing/notes
Determine candidates for vacancy
Up to 5 people ranked in order of suitability
Chair may make final determination
Within two weeks of provider notifying of accommodation support availability
Refer Section 9 above
Committee recommendations made Documented in TRIM
Service provider (where block funded) is advised of first ranked candidate/s for service
Relevant documentation provided
As soon as decision  made
Service provider Suitability Feedback Form provided to FACS if required
Discussed with service provider if required
Next ranked candidate/s sent to service provider following a legitimate reason for declining the first ranked candidate
Within 7 days of notification of decision. Refer Appendix 8
Letter of offer issued to accepted applicant Record in TRIM and CIS
Appendices 9 & 10

11.1 Determining the sustainability of the proposed match

The people considered for a vacancy are drawn from the ASR through the preparation of a shortlist by the district with sufficient consideration given to locational, suitability and priority factors, as detailed in section 9.

Recommendations to offer a person a vacancy are made by the Allocation Committee. The Allocation Committee also has the responsibility of carefully considering locational, suitability and priority factors when making these decisions.

Recommendations made by the Committee should be documented in meeting minutes or by utilising the Accommodation Committee Recommendation Form as at Appendix 7. This documentation must be filed in TRIM.

Refer to Appendix 7 – Allocation Committee Recommendation Form

Where possible, up to five people will be ranked in order of suitability for a vacancy offer. If two people are considered suitable, the person whose situation demonstrates a higher priority of need should be selected. In the event that a consensus cannot be reached, the chairperson will make the final decision based on the information available, or may refer the decision to the District Director. Alternatively, two or more candidates may be sent to the service provider for consideration.

The Allocation Committee should consider the capacity of the service provider to support a person prioritised for a vacancy. This is particularly relevant when the service provider is funded directly to provide accommodation support to a group of people and should include capacity to manage identified risk factors.

When a vacancy occurs in group accommodation, the committee should also consider the sustainability of the proposed placement based on the suitability for living with others sharing the accommodation and support available.

The approach used by the Allocation Committee to gather the required additional information, upon which fair decisions can be based, may vary across the state due to variations in district resources.

For vacancies where the service provider is funded directly to provide accommodation support, the Allocation Committee should advise the service provider of the nominee for the vacancy as soon as a decision is made. The committee should also make available the nominee’s ASR information, Risk Profile, medical history, behaviour support plan, and any other specialist plans as may be relevant, to the service provider.

A case note including the outcome and reason for decision must be prepared and entered in both CIS and TRIM for each person considered by the Allocation Committee.

Feedback from the service provider in relation to the suitability of the nominee for the vacancy can be provided:

  • using the Suitability Feedback Form (Appendix 8) which must be returned to FACS within seven (7) days of notification of the person recommended for the vacancy; or
  • by participating in the Allocation Committee meeting.

Refer to: Appendix 8 –Letter to Service Provider and Accommodation Support - Suitability Feedback Form

11.2 Receiving Suitability Feedback

The Suitability Feedback form is used for group and drop-in accommodation support options where a service provider receives the funding allocation.

When the Suitability Feedback form is returned and the service provider agrees to accept the recommended person into a vacancy, a Letter of Offer is sent to the person nominated and an initial meeting with the service provider arranged.

Where a matched profile is presented to a service provider who declines providing support to that individual, resolution should be sought by discussing management strategies better enabling the placement to occur.

Should the service provider require more information to make their decision to accept a candidate to their vacancy, they should request this from FACS promptly. Further discussion between FACS and the service provider may be required. If there is a legitimate reason for declining the first ranked candidate/s chosen by the Allocation Committee, the next ranked candidate/s will be sent to the service provider for consideration.

11.2.1 Vacancy Remediation

Where vacancies remain unfilled for longer than six weeks, Districts should alert other Districts for consideration of people who may consider locations outside their initial preference choice.

Alternatively, Districts may initiate a facilitated reconfiguration process across the ADHC supported accommodation system where a service provider consistently rejects candidates for vacancies. This may include (but is not limited to) reallocation of funding to other ADHC funded organisations to meet the accommodation support needs of people on the ASR, and/ or adjustment of funding to enable a vacancy to be ‘moved’ to an alternative provider. Refer to the Funding Agreement clause 2015-2018-3(b)(iv), 7.1(c), 7.2, 10.1(a).

11.3 Offering accommodation support

A person will only be notified that they have been considered for a vacancy when the recommendations of the Allocation Committee have been endorsed and the service provider has advised FACS that the nominated person is suitable for the vacancy, if applicable.

A letter will be sent by the District to the person, their decision maker and/or the nominated decision support person in relation to the accommodation support offer. The letter should include information about:

  • the type of accommodation support
  • information about the service provider
  • the process to accept or decline the offer (for example, using an acceptance/ rejection form)
  • a District contact for assistance

For those vacancies which offer shared accommodation and support, the relevant de-identified Vacancy Profile may also be enclosed with the Letter of Offer.

Refer to Appendix 9 and 10– Letters of Offer

12 Accepting or declining an offer

Summary

Action Timing/notes
Person made the offer needs to accept or reject offer Within 7 days of date offer made
If acceptance is not notified, following confirmation of receipt of the offer the application is deemed to be rejected Within 14 days after offer made
Case worker and person being offered support meet the service provider of the subject vacancy (group accommodation or drop-in) Within 7 days of acceptance of offer
Transition plan prepared As soon as practicable

12.1 Accepting an offer

A person needs to accept the vacancy offer within 7 days of the date of the Letter of Offer (the same date as any spoken offer). This can be achieved by advising the identified district contact by phone, or e-mail, by using augmented communication (which must be witnessed). Alternatively, the person can return the completed Acceptance/Rejection Form which can be attached to the Letter of Offer. Following confirmation of receipt of the offer, if notice is not received within 14 days of the offer being made, it is deemed to have been rejected.

For group and drop-in accommodation support offers, the case manager or other professional who has sufficient familiarity with the person should convene an initial meeting with the service provider. This meeting should occur within 7 days of the person accepting the offer and involve the person being offered support, the accommodation service provider and any other relevant persons.

The case manager or person’s representative should also arrange a home visit to meet with other residents and support staff. The meeting with the service provider and the home visit may occur simultaneously, if appropriate.

If a person accepts an offer of placement, the case manager or other appropriate district officer will work with the person, appropriate family members, carers, guardians and service providers to prepare a transition plan.

12.2 Declining an offer

The selected person has the right to decline an offer. The person needs to decline the offer of accommodation support within 7 days of a formal accommodation support offer being made. This can be achieved by advising the identified district contact by phone, or e-mail, by using augmented communication (which must be witnessed) or returning a completed Acceptance/Rejection Form.

When this occurs, a FACS officer will work with the person to identify why the placement was not accepted. The person’s details on the ASR should be amended to reflect any changes to the person’s request for accommodation support, if necessary.

If a person declines the offer of an accommodation place, the District will use the short list to make an offer to the person next in priority order as decided by the Allocation Committee.

Where a person rejects a second accommodation support offer, FACS will seek to resolve issues leading to that rejection. If a person declines three (3) offers of accommodation support the support needs of the person will be reviewed and discussed with possible outcomes including a recommendation for individual funding or other more suitable services.

It may be necessary to seek advice from the Deputy Secretary Operations in some cases, and a review done independently of the district, if warranted or requested.

If a formal notification of offer acceptance or rejection is not received within 14 days of the offer being made, it is deemed to have been rejected.

13 Transition to group accommodation

Summary

Action Timing/notes
Upon offer acceptance commence transition planning Refer section 13 above
Complete transition Within 28 days of offer acceptance
Obtain updated information on the person transitioning. Prior to move-in date.
Refer Appendix 12
Provide copy of transition plan to Allocation Committee chair Within 14 days of completion of transition

This section applies to people who are moving into a group accommodation service operated by FACS or an NGO, which may include group home and drop-in support arrangements.

Actual transition commences when a selected person accepts an offer of placement. Some people prefer scheduled visits to services or short-term stays to assist with settling in. Others may prefer a quicker move into their new accommodation.

At the beginning of the transition, other residents in the accommodation service and their families and carers will be informed that a new person is moving into the service. During the transition there should be opportunity provided for all residents and families to meet each other.

Transition timing should be individually determined and based on the requirements of the person, the service and the existing service users. A maximum of 28 days is considered reasonable; in many cases the time required may be less than this. For those people where extra time is critical to placement success the District Director can approve an extension of time.

A case manager, or other suitable professional, will assist the person and their family/carer to prepare a transition plan that meets the needs of the person prior to, during and immediately after the move into an accepted accommodation placement. The transition plan meeting will provide an opportunity to:

  • schedule visits and overnight stays;
  • discuss important issues and risks for the person before and when the place is accepted;
  • develop actions and a timetable for managing the identified issues and risks;
  • discuss the integration of current routines into the household;
  • discuss how an active support approach will be used to promote independence and participation;
  • identify the persons with responsibility for the actions and their implementation;
  • ensure existing residents meet with the new person;
  • discuss the integration of other programs, services and supports with the placement (for example, transport to community participation activities, school, health services); and
  • agree on a transition completion date.

In addition to the above information, the case manager must also obtain the following information during the transition and prior to the move in date:

  • a copy of the person’s ASR profile;
  • the person’s Lifestyle Plan (if available);
  • photos and Life Story Book (if a child or young person);
  • support plans and a copy of the person’s current routines;
  • completed Risk Profile and other care plans such as Epilepsy Management Plan;
  • court ordered family contact requirements (if relevant);
  • current behaviour plans (if relevant);
  • other plans requested by the service provider.

This information will assist staff to support the person appropriately and aim to ensure a smooth transition and positive experience for the person. At the end of the transition period the plan should be either signed off as completed by the person and service provider, or revised as necessary.

The transition plan should use a communication method that best suits the person’s needs. However, a suggested template (Appendix 11) is also available to document actions and timeframes.

The case manager should provide a copy of the plan to the Allocation Committee within 14 days of the transition period end date.

Refer to Appendix 11 – Transition Plan template

14 Finalisation of a vacancy

A vacancy is finalised when the Allocation Committee recommends confirmation of the placement to the District Director, who endorses.

If at some stage all parties agree that the proposed placement is not suitable for the person, the chairperson of the Allocation Committee should be advised immediately. A representative of the receiving service provider (service manager or CEO) should detail the reason(s) why the placement was not suitable for the person prioritised.

The person’s profile on the ASR should be updated to reflect any relevant new information pertaining to the person’s service need.

Where an accommodation option has been unsuccessful, the Allocation Committee chairperson will refer to the short list for the vacancy and commence the allocation process for the next prioritised person.

To manage an allocations process, the District can use a checklist (Appendix 12) to ensure all steps for vacancy management are being followed.

Refer to Appendix 12 – Checklist for Managing a Vacancy

15 Individual funding

The individual funding packages in scope for these guidelines are Individualised Accommodation Support Packages (IASP) and Supported Living Fund (SLF).

Individual funding is based on a tailored support plan that meets a person’s unique needs and circumstances. Individual funding may be used to support people living on their own, in the family home or in shared arrangements. Individualisation of funding can occur as part of an offer of accommodation support, dependent on District considerations.

Features of individual funding include:

  • It is an individualised funding source that is portable, flexible and allocated to the person, not the service provider.
  • An individual can move to a different area, or change from one service provider to another without having to change their current living arrangement (e.g. family care) and their funding will remain the same.
  • Support is based on an agreed person centred and individualised support plan. The funding and level of support a person can expect to receive is based on their disability support needs, as outlined in the support plan.
  • More Information is available on the FACS website at Individualised Accommodation Support.

15.1 Expressing an interest in individual funding

People requiring accommodation support who would prefer individual funding can indicate this in the process of applying for the Accommodation Support Register (ASR). See section 6 for details.

Where a person is already receiving accommodation support and wishes to individualise their funding this can be explored as outlined in Section 2.3.

15.2 Maintaining and updating information

Individual funding applications may be reviewed and updated as outlined in section 7.

15.3 Location sought

Due to the portability of individual funding, people may apply for this support with the District where they live. If they receive a package, they are able to take the funding package with them, should they choose to move between districts.

15.4 Declaring availability of individual funding

An individual funding allocation may become available due to a number of reasons (e.g. a person relinquishes their package). It is the responsibility of the funded organisation to advise FACS immediately when this occurs. Available individual funding may be notified by filling in the first section of a Vacancy Profile (Appendix 5), as determined by the District. Individual funding is generally reallocated within the same District.

15.5 Suitability for individual funding

Considerations for individual funding suitability that should be taken into account by the Allocations Committee are that the person with disability:

  • has an understanding of individual funding and is committed to making it work;
  • his/her family and carers can demonstrate that an informal support network exists or has the capacity to be developed;
  • is not in crisis, and has living arrangements that can be sustained within his/her plan and the allocated budget using a mix of formal/ paid and informal supports.

15.6 Priority

Priority for individual funding is determined by each District based on a number of aspects:

  • availability of funding which is sufficient to meet the person’s unmet disability support needs;
  • specific program requirements; and
  • through the identification of risk factors in current arrangements.

15.7 Allocation Committee

See section 10 regarding the role of the Allocation Committee, which is responsible for the allocation of individual funding.

15.8 Allocation of individual funding and development of support plan

Candidates for individual funding are determined within 14 days of notification by the funded organisation (or person responsible in the case of Direct Payment Agreement- DPA). Up to five people may be ranked in order of suitability for an allocation of individual funding.

A suitability feedback form is not required for allocation of individual funding. When the Allocation Committee considers suitability and priority factors (indicated above) and recommends a person for individual funding, this is documented in TRIM.

The person is then sent a letter formally advising of their prioritisation for the allocation of individual funding, pending the outcome of the planning process (see letter templates in the Business Rules for the type of individual funding allocated - for example, the Individualised Accommodation Support Package (IASP) Business Rules, located on TRIM or the ADHC Intranet). The Individual Funding Handbook provides information about the items that may be purchased with individual funding.

A support plan is then developed with the person and their family, generally in collaboration with a support planner, as soon as practicable. FACS can arrange for the person to be assisted by a support planner, if required. An intermediary fund manager (or service provider) is chosen by the person and their family to assist the person to manage their individual funding. When the support plan has been developed, it needs to be approved and costed by FACS. If approval is given, the funding will commence.

15.9 Declining an allocation of individual funding

Should the person prioritised for individual funding decline this support, this should be done within 7 days of receipt of their letter. This can be achieved by advising the identified district contact by phone, or e-mail, by using augmented communication (which must be witnessed) or returning a completed Acceptance/Rejection Form, if appropriate.

If a formal notification of declining individual funding is not received within 14 days of confirmed receipt of the letter of offer, it is deemed to have been rejected.

If a person no longer has a need for individual funding and/or their needs have been alternatively met, the District can complete or close the request in CIS. The District should provide written advice to the person or their decision maker confirming this decision and encouraging them to reapply to be placed on the ASR should support be needed in the future.

The District should support the person’s access to mainstream and community services or refer to an Ability Links Coordinator, if additional assistance is required to identify those options that may be suitable and could make a difference to their lives.

Also see section 7.3 Person is not contactable, if appropriate.

15.10 Transition to a shared accommodation setting

See section 13 for information to guide transition into a shared accommodation setting that a person with individual funding has arranged themselves.

15.11 Requesting group or drop in accommodation support

If a person already has individual funding and seeks block-funded group or drop in support accommodation, they may re-apply to go on the ASR. They will be required to relinquish their individual funding when accepted into a group or drop in support accommodation placement.

16 Transition to the NDIS

People who are receiving specialist disability services will transition to the NDIS over time. People who are new to the specialist disability system (i.e. those people who are not currently receiving any specifically funded disability support) living in areas which have transitioned to NDIS can make an application to the NDIS at any time.

FACS is advised by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) as people successfully transition to the NDIS. Once this occurs the service request with FACS for accommodation support will no longer be active.

17 Feedback and complaints

Complaints about FACS services

People can make a complaint to FACS about any aspect of its business or the services it provides directly. If a person is not satisfied with the decision made by FACS not to endorse an application, they can seek that the decision be reviewed, adding any additional information to their application. The request for review should be sent to the District Director of the District where the original application was made.

Complaints about FACS funded services

FACS funds many organisations to provide services. These include:

  • non-government disability organisations, such as those who operate group homes or provide respite, day programs, intermediary funds management, drop-in support and case management
  • organisations providing services under the Home and Community Care (HACC) program such as Meals-on-Wheels and the Home Modification and Maintenance Service.

Should there be a complaint against a FACS funded organisation regarding their provision of service, it is recommended that the person with the complaint discuss their issue with the organisation first.

Following this, if a person still wishes to make a complaint to FACS about the organisation, FACS may review the organisation’s complaint handling policy, ask the organisation how a particular complaint was handled and/ or address the concern as appropriate, following the terms and conditions of the Funding Agreement with the organisation.

Making a complaint

A complaint can be made to any FACS staff member. The person making the complaint is encouraged to discuss the complaint with local staff first, where possible. If the complaint is about a FACS staff member, or a particular area or group of staff in FACS, the complaint will be handled independently of the person or group in question. The complaint may also be referred to an external investigator.

Complaints can be made in a number of ways: by letter, e-mail, over the phone, in person or using the online complaint form. FACS will help the person making a complaint if they need assistance. For example, an interpreter may be organised if required. An advocate or someone can act on the person’s behalf to help them make a complaint. There are a number of advocacy services that provide this kind of assistance.

More information is available at Advocacy and Information Services

There are other external agencies that may be able to give advice or assist in making a complaint. These include the NSW Ombudsman and the National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline.

Note that it is an offence to threaten or take action against a person in retribution for a complaint made in relation to a disability service.

Refer section 47 of the Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Act 1993.

Information about feedback and complaints can be found on the ADHC website www.adhc.nsw.gov.au/contact_us/complaints_procedure

18 Definitions

Accommodation Support Register (ASR) The system used by FACS to record a person’s current need and eligibility for accommodation support. The ASR provides a clear and accurate picture of the support that is currently required, so that when supports become available, they can be allocated in a fair and efficient manner.
Carer A person who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability.
Case management Case management is a service provided for people with disability who are in complex situations and require assistance to identify issues and goals to plan and implement solutions and strategies.
Child A person who is under the age of 16 years.
CIS FACS’s Client Information System
Community services Services or supports within local communities for all community members. Examples include health services, education, transport and home cleaning.
Current need A person’s requirement for support that is unmet (or partially met, including through episodic supports), occurring in the present or within the direct foreseeable future, and directly related to the person’s disability.
Decision maker A decision maker can be a primary carer, friend, family member, advocate or an appointed guardian. A paid worker such as a case manager or disability support worker is not a decision maker.
Decision support Assistance (including sources of information and advice) available to a person with disability, their family or carers to enable them to exercise choice and control over support and service arrangements.
Disability support Support that specifically meets the needs and goals of a person with a disability.
Disability Inclusion Act 2014 The legislation in NSW that provides the legal framework for the delivery of disability services.
Formal support Formal supports are those that are government funded including those funded by FACS such as specialist accommodation support options, NSW Health, etc.
Future need You are not ready to accept an offer of accommodation support now, but would like your need for accommodation in the future to be registered.
Guardian A guardian is a substitute decision-maker with authority to make personal or lifestyle decisions about the person under guardianship. A guardian is appointed for a specified period of time and is given specific functions (e.g. the power to decide where the person should live, what services they should receive and what medical treatment they should be given). A private guardian may be appointed - a family member or friend - provided the circumstances of the matter allow for this and they meet the criteria set out in the legislation. Otherwise, the Tribunal will appoint the NSW Public Guardian.
Immediate need You would accept an offer of accommodation support in selected locations if made to you now.
Informal support Naturally occurring support or assistance available within families, among friends, neighbours and members of a community.
Nominated person An individual nominated by a person with disability to assist with making choices about what supports they require and who will provide them. The nominated person may be deemed as a substitute decision maker and assist with the arrangements for the provision of the supports and management of the funding administration arrangement.
Person A person with a disability who is the subject of the ASR application and request for accommodation supports. The term is used to describe people at different life stages such as childhood, adolescence and adulthood and acknowledges the varying needs and involvement of family and carers.
Reconfiguration Reconfiguration can involve a person or persons moving to another service location for reasons such as improved grouping suitability, being closer to family or work or to a preferred location prior to the location of the final group accommodation vacancy and vacancy profile being declared.
Short list A prioritised list of possible people to be considered for placement created when a vacancy arises. This is based on location, the type of support offered, the suitability of the vacancy in terms of meeting individuals’ support needs and a relative priority of need for support.
Suitability Refers to the extent to which an individual’s physical, emotional, social and support needs are similar nature, enabling them to reside together harmoniously within a group.
TRIM Is the official records and electronic document management system for FACS.
Young person A person who is aged 16 or 17 years old.
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