The latest news, media releases, reports, and breaking information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme in New South Wales.

Court project to help people with a cognitive impairment

The NSW Government has launched a pilot diversion program to help defendants with a cognitive impairment charged with low-level offences access services that address the underlying causes of their offending behaviour.

Attorney General Mark Speakman, Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies and Member for Mulgoa, and Minister for Western Sydney and Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres today announced the Cognitive Impairment Diversion Program will be rolled out at Penrith and Gosford Local Courts.

“The pilot program will identify defendants with a cognitive impairment early to help prevent their further contact with the criminal justice system,” Mr Speakman said.

A psychologist or psychiatrist will screen defendants appearing before Penrith and Gosford Local Courts on lower level charges (known as summary offences) to identify people with a cognitive impairment. Support workers will then identify defendants’ needs and goals and help them access the services of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The program will provide a report to help magistrates decide whether to direct defendants into treatment or support as an alternative to criminal sanctions.

“Supporting people with cognitive issues when they enter the criminal justice system can increase their quality of life, reduce their risk of committing further crime and create safer communities,” Mrs Davies said.

Minister Ayres welcomed the establishment of the pilot at Penrith Local Court.

“The pilot will be crucial to determining what help people with cognitive impairments need to navigate the criminal justice system, to help ensure they don’t end up in trouble with the law again,” Mr Ayres said.

The Cognitive Impairment Diversion program is a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and NSW Health. The pilot will be evaluated after a year to determine whether the program should be expanded to other locations.

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New resources on NDIS quality and safeguards in NSW available now

A new tool which will assist the user to understand quality and safeguarding requirements for NDIS service providers in NSW is available now.

Called the Quality and safeguards guidance tool for NDIS providers in NSW, it takes the user through a range of questions about their organisation, and the supports they would like to deliver, resulting in a tailored outcome for each user. The tool also provides the user with useful links and resources related to registering as a NDIS provider in NSW.

There is also a new fact sheet which outlines how NDIS participants will receive quality supports and be kept safe under the NDIS in NSW. The fact sheet is presented in plain, easy to understand English and provides greater clarity on aspects of the quality and safeguarding in NSW and what it means for participants.

In the animated video, Protecting people under the NDIS, we meet Samara, a person navigating through her NDIS journey. The video shows how Samara receives supports which are right for her and how the high standards of services she receives must be maintained. The video also outlines the rights Samara has under the NDIS and who she can speak to if she has feedback or a complaint about the supports or services she’s receiving.

You can access the tool here

You can check out the fact sheet here

You can watch ‘Protecting people under the NDIS’ here.

New  resources from the Office of the Children’s Guardian to support Child Safe organisations

With the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), parents and carers of children and young people with a disability will have greater choice about the services they use.

With this in mind, the Office of the Children’s Guardian has developed new resources called Safe Space  to help  parents and carers choose organisations or individuals to work with their child.

You can access the resources online here.

The Office of the Children’s Guardian is also providing free workshops to help disability service providers understand and implement Child Safe principles into the workplace and ensure greater protection for children by assisting providers to meet their legal obligations.

Find a Child Safe workshop by visiting our Events calendar here

If you would like to receive copies of the Safe Space resources, please contact Caryn Millward at the Office of the Children’s Guardian via email at caryn.millward@kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au

Find out more by visiting the Office of the Children’s Guardian website

NEW OPERATORS ANNOUNCED FOR DISABILITY SERVICES

Today Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams, announced the successful providers to take over the operation of state supported accommodation services in Sydney and the Central Coast, following an extensive consultation with people with disability, their families, or guardians.

These services are being transferred to the non-government sector to support the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Mr Williams said the successful providers Life Without Barriers, Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Achieve Australia, are organisations with a strong history of supporting people with disability and proven track records in regional areas.

“Continuity of support for residents remains our highest priority. These operators already have a local presence and experience delivering accommodation services to people with disability,’’ Mr Williams said.

The providers have also been selected for their capacity and vision to support the day-to-day and professional development needs of the dedicated staff who will transfer.

“The retention of experienced staff who carry out irreplaceable work with residents in group homes is critical to the success of the NDIS,” Mr Williams said.

The new operators will take on services in the following locations:

  • Life Without Barriers – Central Coast, Nepean Blue Mountains, South Eastern Sydney
  • Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) – Northern Sydney
  • Achieve Australia – Norton Rd SSL and Metro Residences

Download or print this media release here

Reimagine today – a new website to help navigate the NDIS

The Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) have launched the Reimagine.today website, an initiative funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

Reimagine.today is co-designed by people living with psychosocial disabilities and people with lived experience of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The site aims to help people living with a psychosocial disability to better understand the NDIS and what supports and services it can offer.

The website includes an easy to follow step-by-step approach and resources to download and is for all people living with a mental health condition, whether they have a psychosocial disability or not.

The website is still in a pilot phase and the  MHCC are encouraging feedback. You can contact the Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) via email reimagine@mhcc.org.au, through their website www.mhcc.org.au or by phone (02) 9555 8388.

 

NDIS NOW AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT NSW

NSW continues to lead Australia in transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with it rolling out across the State today, announced Minister for Disability Services Ray Williams.

This is an important milestone for people with disability in NSW, who have previously not had access to the Scheme, to have more choice and control over their supports.

“At last, people with disability throughout the State are at the centre of decision-making and are empowered to live the life they choose,” Mr Williams said.

People living in the Illawarra Shoalhaven, Northern NSW, Mid North Coast, Sydney, South Eastern Sydney, Murrumbidgee, Western NSW and the Far West can now access the NDIS.

“The NSW Liberal & National Government’s strong financial management has ensured the Scheme is delivered on time and to budget in NSW,” Mr Williams said.

“More than 90 per cent of participants are satisfied with the Scheme in the State. We will continue to work hard with participants and the sector to deliver an NDIS people with disability deserve.”

Mr Williams said the NSW Government will also continue to provide information to people with disability, their families and carers to help them prepare for the NDIS.

“We are committed doing everything we can to ensure people are ready to take advantage of all that the NDIS can deliver.”

More than 54,000 people with disability have already joined the NDIS in NSW, with a further 60,000 expected to join in 2017-18.

Read the Media Release here

More funding to support the Aboriginal Disability Sector prepare for the NDIS

The NSW Aboriginal disability sector will benefit from $1 million in additional funding to assist with preparing for the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Minister for Disability Services Ray Williams announced today.

The Aboriginal Disability Provider Grants (ADPG) program will offer $600,000 in direct grants and $400,000 for capacity building to Aboriginal disability providers.

Mr Williams said the NSW Government was working hard to support the Aboriginal disability sector as it prepares for the NDIS rollout.

“The grants program will be designed in consultation with community organisations and awarded based on need,” Mr Williams said.

The NSW Government will work with Social Ventures Australia and First Peoples Disability Network to deliver the grants.

Social Ventures Australia (SVA) and First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN) said they were excited to work with the NSW Government to ensure the sector is NDIS-ready.

“Our goal is to provide tailored supports to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disability service providers to create organisational change and build business capability to operate within an NDIS environment,’’ said Damian Griffis from First Peoples Disability Network.

The ADPG program further supports the $485,000 Building Capacity for Aboriginal People (BCAP) grants awarded in March this year.

NDIS draft Code of Conduct – have your say

The draft National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Code of Conduct is available now for you to have your say!

The NDIS Code of Conduct is part of the national Quality and Safeguarding Framework. The Code of Conduct will be in place to promote safe, high quality and ethical service delivery for the NDIS in full scheme.

The Code of Conduct is important to help:

  • empower people with disability to know and exercise their rights;
  • ensure providers and individual workers are aware of and meet expectations
  • shape the behaviour and culture of organisations to be focussed on people with disability; and
  • provide a way to enforce consequences if workers and providers do not meet expectations.

The Code will come into effect once the NDIS is at full-scheme and will apply to all registered providers delivering supports within the NDIS.  It will be enforceable by law and will include sanctions for breaches of the Code.

We encourage you to have your say by completing this survey on the DSS website.

You can also upload a more detailed submission

Your input will be considered as the Code of Conduct is finalised.

Please also take a look at the Discussion Paper, which is also available in an Easy English version.

The closing date for completing surveys and uploading submissions is 5pm (AEST), 21 June 2017.

New operators announced for rural and regional disability services

Today Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams, announced the successful providers to take over the operation of state supported accommodation services in regions across the State, following an extensive consultation with people with disability, their families, carers and guardians.

These services are being transferred to the non-government sector to support the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams, said the successful providers, LiveBetter Community Services, Hunter Valley Disability Services and Mid North Coast Disability Services had strong histories of supporting people with disability and proven track records in rural and regional areas.

“It’s important that people with disability living in regional, rural and remote locations can access effective, appropriate supports regardless of where they live,” said Mr Williams.

“Continuity of support for residents remains our highest priority. These operators already have a local presence and experience delivering accommodation services to people with disability.”

LiveBetter, formerly known as CareWest, Hunter Valley Disability Services and Mid North Coast Disability Services have also been selected for their capacity and vision to support the day-to-day and professional development needs of the dedicated staff who will transfer.

“The retention of experienced staff who carry out irreplaceable work with residents in group homes is critical to the success of the NDIS,” Mr Williams said.

The new operators will take on services in the following locations:

  • LiveBetter Community Services – Bathurst, Blayney, Dubbo, Kelso, and Orange
  • Hunter Valley Disability Services – Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle and Port Stephens area
  • Mid North Coast Disability Services – Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Port Macquarie, Wauchope

LiveBetter CEO, Tim Curran, said his organisation is well positioned to support people with disabilities, families and employees through the transition period and beyond.

“We are thrilled to be working collaboratively with our new customers and staff to provide high quality, client-centred services,” Mr Curran said.
Both the Hunter Valley and Mid North Coast Disability Services consortiums have more than 100 years combined experience in providing local people with disability a full range of support services. This includes the management of multiple group and respite accommodation homes.

Fred Van Steel, CEO at Ability Options and Chair for both consortiums, said his organisation was honoured to be selected as the lead disability service provider to manage the supported accommodation in the Hunter and the Mid North Coast regions.

“We look forward to ensuring people with disabilities live inclusively in their communities, assisted by support services delivered with integrity, respect and compassion,” Mr Van Steel said.

Hunter Valley Disability Services Ltd is a consortium of providers including Ability Options, ConnectAbility Australia, Finding Yellow and accommodation partner Evolve Housing.

Mid North Coast Disability Services is a consortium including Nambucca Valley disAbility Services, Kempsey Regional Support, About Inclusion, Booroongen Djugun and Ability Options and accommodation partner Evolve Housing.

The transfers to LiveBetter and Mid North Coast Disability Services will start from September 2017. Hunter Valley Disability Services transfer will begin from December 2017.

Today’s announcement represents another three of the 18 geographic service groupings for disability supported accommodation that will transfer to the non-government sector.

Northcott and House with No Steps were selected last month to run 10 of the groupings.

All NSW specialist disability services will transfer to the non-government sector by June 2018, as agreed by State and Federal government in 2012.

Read the full Media Release.

New operators announced for disability services

The NSW Government has announced the first two new providers, Northcott and House with No Steps, for supported accommodation and respite services across the state. Both providers have a long and proud history of delivering accommodation services to people with disability.

Northcott will cover Murrumbidgee, South Western Sydney and Western Sydney. House with No Steps cover Illawarra Shoalhaven, New England, Northern NSW, Southern NSW and Sydney. The remaining providers for the rest of the State will be announced later.

The Transfer

To support continuity of care and retain an experienced disability workforce, all staff and residents will transfer to the new provider for their area.Transfers are expected to start from October 2017. Details are being finalised and affected residents will be updated as information becomes available. All services will continue to run as normal now and after the transfer.

Selection Process

The selection process was extensive and competitive to find the right providers to deliver these crucial services. Residents and their families, carers or guardians also informed the selection process about what was important when selecting new providers.

Information and Support

FACS will continue to provide affected staff, residents their families and carers with more information leading up to the transfer. Residents, their families and carers can contact Transfer Connect on toll-free 1800 870 789 from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, or email transferconnect@missionaustralia.com.au

Transfer Connect is a new service tailored to supporting people through the transfer process, particularly with questions or concerns relating to their own individual situation.

In addition to Transfer Connect, call 1800 379 284 or email servicedeliverytransfer@facs.nsw.gov.au for more information. Information is also available at www.facs.nsw.gov.au

View the full media release