So what happened with our ADHC Position Statement?
So what happened with our ADHC Position Statement?
In early December, NSWCID released our Position Statement When ADHC stops and the NDIS starts-what needs to happen for people with intellectual disability?
The statement advocates:
· ADHC clients having a clear and straightforward process of transition into the NDIS based on choice and control of support arrangements and service providers.
· Encouragement of innovation in support arrangements.
· Keeping ownership of housing independent from service provision.
· An extremely robust process to ensure that complex behavioural needs are well met in the NDIS with ADHC continuing to provide a safety net until the NDIS and the NGO market have demonstrated that they are fully equipped to meet complex needs.
· Maintaining the functions of vital ADHC services - behaviour, health and Community Justice Program.
· Continuation and enhancement of the role of advocacy including continued specific a voice for people with intellectual disability through some intellectual disability advocacy groups.
The statement received much attention and NSW CID followed this up with meetings with:
· John Ajaka, Minister for Disability Services
· ADHC CEO Jim Longley
· Senior ADHC Staff involved in planning the transfer
· Michael Coutts Trotter, Secretary of Family and Community Services
· Anne Skordis, General Manager Scheme Transition, NDIA
· James Christian, Group Manager, Department of Social Services
· Janet Schorer, Executive Director, Department of Premier and Cabinet
Jim Simpson, CID Senior Advocate and John Ajaka, Minister Disability Services
Among the issues we stressed in these meetings were:
- The need for much improved community consultation processes.
- The need for clear provider of last resort and crisis support arrangements in the NDIS.
- Concrete steps that could provide safeguards on transition of ADHC clients into the NDIS, especially those with complex needs
- Funding of independent support/advocacy for people and families who have concerns about how the transition process is working.
- Establishing an arrangement with the Ombudsman to monitor and report on the transition processes for people with complex needs.
- The grave dangers to the health of ADHC clients if health services funded by ADHC close, for example specialist psychiatry clinics in regional areas and the network of two specialist nurses in each ADHC region.
- The need for much stronger processes than have been occurring in the Hunter to link people into the NDIS from the justice system.
CID acknowledges the readiness of the key decision makers to promptly meet with us and openly discuss the challenging issues that need to be addressed if NDIS transition is to work well for people with disability. CID also welcomes ADHC’s assurance of ongoing consultation with us.
We do see ADHC and the NDIA as appreciating that very well thought out structures are needed if complex behavioural needs are to be well met in the NDIS. ADHC has been doing considerable work aimed at ensuring the NGO sector is equipped and has expert support to meet complex behavioural needs. ADHC is confident that this work will be successful. We have stressed that we cannot be satisfied of this until we see it working in practice for transitioning individuals and that if this is not clear by 2018, then ADHC should continue to provide a safety net for as long as necessary.
NSW CID has also met with the NSW Disability Council and the NSW Ombudsman to ensure that they aware of our issue.
NSW CID has been contacted by numerous concerned people, including parents who have expressed their fears about the transfer process, raising issues such as:
· What if an NGO chooses not to take my child?
· What if an NGO exits my child?
· Will I get a choice of NGO?
· What if we want to change who we live with?
· What will happen to the houses?
· Where will the NGOs get skilled behaviour support?
These are all real and genuine concerns, ones which must be addressed in the planning process.
We hope that ADHC will very shortly release clear information on how it proposes to transition clients into the NGO sector and the NDIS.
The NDIS is a once in a lifetime opportunity for all people who need disability support to get it, unlike the historic endless waiting lists and extremely variable quality of support. NSW CID believes we must seize this opportunity but we must also strongly advocate that transition arrangements for ADHC clients meet their individual wants and needs.
The NSW CID Team
NSW CID notes that ADHC has provided the following information for people affected by the transfer.
Transfer of ADHC Supported Accommodation Services to the NGO Sector
Group Home and Specialist Supported Living residents were recently invited to forums about the transfer of services to the non-government sector.
A summary of key points from these forums will be forwarded to clients and their families soon for their feedback.
These forums were the start of an ongoing engagement process and FACS is committed to providing regular updates as they progress through the transfer process.
More details about transfer will also be provided through the NSW NDIS website as more information is available.
Click on www.ndis.nsw.gov.au and then click 'about' and then 'transfer of NSW Government disability services.