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

Up to $26 million for Advocacy Groups

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Disability Services Ray Williams today announced up to $26 million will be available for advocacy services until 2020.

The funding will support people with disability to access these services during the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and in the early stages of full Scheme.

Ms Berejiklian said the NSW Government is committed to successfully transitioning supports and services to the NDIS for people with disability.

“During a time of major change for people with disability, the NSW Government is committed to making the transition to the NDIS as smooth as possible,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We understand the transition has created concerns for people with disability and I want to assure the community we have been listening to those concerns.

“That is why we have set aside this funding. It will make sure people with disability can continue to access services and information, particularly in regional and rural communities.”

A key focus of the NSW funding will be on activities that support inclusion of people with disability in their communities.

Mr Williams said NSW is leading the way in transitioning to the NDIS.

“This is the largest social reform since Medicare and it’s important we get it right for people with disability,” Mr Williams said.

“We will continue to work with the Commonwealth Government to ensure the NDIS is successful and sustainable in NSW.”

More than 84,000 people with disability in NSW are currently accessing the NDIS in NSW.

Two new videos for parents and carers looking for child safe disability services

Parents and carers of kids with disability can learn how to find child safe organisations and support workers. Two short animated videos called SAFESpace have been newly released explaining what to look for in support services.

The NDIS represents a time of change for people with disability and their families. SAFESpace resources are here to provide some child safe principles to keep in mind when navigating this new space.

SAFESpace resources have been developed by the Office of the Children’s Guardian, in collaboration with Ageing Disability and Home Care. The videos help parents and carers to be aware of what a Child Safe Organisation is, and they equip parents and carers with information to assess if an organisation meets their child’s need.

You can view the videos about How to choose a person to work with your child and How to choose an organisation to work with your child.

The videos are supported by a suite of SAFESpace printed and online resources that are easy to understand. A parent and carer guide is provided in Easy English and fact sheets have been translated into 10 community languages. You can find the resources here.

Resources are also available for disability service providers to ensure that they are creating child safe environments. The Office of the Children’s Guardian offers free eLearning and face-to-face workshops aim to build capacity of the organisations that are providing support for children with disability. We encourage service providers and their staff to go online to do the eLearning and attend a workshop.

Complete eLearning modules here
Find a Child Safe workshop here

For more information about the SAFE space resources please contact Caryn Millward from the Office of the Children’s Guardian caryn.millward@kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au or on 02 92867264

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.