NSW THE FIRST STATE TO COMPLETE THE ROLLOUT OF THE NDIS

Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams announced today NSW is the first State to complete the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is leading the nation in delivering the Scheme,” Mr Williams said.

“The NDIS is the largest social reform in a generation and now anybody in NSW who is eligible to join the Scheme can do so, even if they haven’t previously received support.

“The NDIS is for all of us. Each and every NSW resident can have peace of mind that if they or a loved one acquires a permanent disability they will receive the support they need to live a fulfilling life.”

More than 85,000 people with disability in NSW are benefiting from the NDIS.

“The NSW Government is contributing more than $3.2 billion to the Scheme, and has delivered on our commitment to the NDIS,” Mr Williams said.

“This is a significant milestone for people with disability and their carers across the State. Every eligible NSW resident with a disability will receive an individual plan to suit their needs, empowering them to have choice and control over how they live their lives.”

The NSW Government will continue to ensure all people with a disability in NSW have access to mainstream services, under the National Disability Strategy and NSW Disability Inclusion Act.

For more information about the NDIS and eligibility requirements, please visit www.ndis.gov.au.

The NSW and Australian governments sign landmark agreement

The NSW and Australian governments have reached agreement on funding, governance and operation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in NSW.

The NDIS is the largest social reform in a generation. NSW is the first state to sign a Full Scheme Agreement with the Australian Government, a historic step in this important reform. It will provide the basis for the NSW and Australian governments to work together to improve outcomes for people living with disability in NSW, now and in future generations.

The NDIS will ensure people with disability have more choice and control over the supports they receive, assisting them to achieve their goals. NSW has already successfully transitioned more than 84,000 people into the NDIS and has 3400 active service providers delivering NDIS supports. In NSW, the NDIS is expected to benefit up to 140,000 people with disability.

What is the agreement?

  • The Full Scheme Agreement sets out the ongoing governance and financial arrangements for the NDIS in NSW.
  • In 2018–19, the Australian and NSW governments will commit more than $6 billion to the NDIS. The agreement ensures the scheme will be financially supported in the long term.

Why is it important?

  • The Full Scheme Agreement outlines shared responsibilities and clear ways of working between NSW, the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, and the Australian Government. This will help ensure that the NDIS is operating effectively and providing high-quality supports to people living with disability. Where issues emerge, this gives both governments a basis to work together to solve them.

How will the agreement affect me?

  • The agreement outlines a shared commitment to improving outcomes for people with disability, and increasing their social and economic participation in NSW.
  • The NDIS will enable independence for people with disability by allowing them to exercise choice and control in the pursuit of their goals.
  • The NSW and Australian governments commit to support innovation and market reform in the disability support sector.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Visit ndis.nsw.gov.au for information about the NDIS in NSW.
For advice about eligibility for the NDIS and how to access the scheme, or to enquire about an NDIS plan, please contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110 or online through its contact form: www.ndis.gov.au/form/contact-form.html.
Visit the Australian Government’s NDIS website at www.ndis.gov.au.

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.

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

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.

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

NSW Government to Deliver 78 New Group Home in the Hunter Region

Seventy eight new group homes will be built in the Hunter region at locations chosen by people with disability and their families to replace large residential centres.

Today Minister for Disability Services Ray Williams announced the purpose-built accommodation will be constructed by Home4Life.

“More than 390 people currently living in Kanangra, Stockton and Tomaree residential centres will benefit from the new group homes which will allow residents to be more engaged in the community,” Mr Williams said.

“I am confident Home4Life will deliver high quality homes that meet the needs of hundreds of people with disability and their families.”

Home4Life are a new disability housing organisation and joint venture between two not-for-profit housing providers; Newcastle based Compass Housing, and BlueCHP.

Compass Housing Group Managing Director Greg Budworth congratulated the NSW Government for adopting the more supportive housing model.

“We believe people have a right to live in a community, rather than an institution, and to participate fully in that community,” he said.

BlueCHP Chief Executive Officer Charles Northcote said Home4Life was committed to making sure tenants and their families were included in the design process.

“Our philosophy is to only develop or invest in projects we would be happy to live in ourselves so all dwellings built by Home4Life will be designed by expert architects Kennedy and Associates and will be in accordance with the standards for disability housing set by the NSW Government and the NDIS.”

Click to access the full Media Release

Milestone for NDIS as disability clinical services transfer to Australia’s oldest charity

Today the NSW Government announced the Benevolent Society will be the new operator of its specialist disability community support teams. These services are being transferred to the non-government sector to support the roll out of the NDIS.

Community support teams are made up of more than 800 highly skilled and dedicated professionals who provide clinical services such as therapy, case management and behaviour supports.

Minister for Disability Services Ray Williams said the Benevolent Society has been chosen after an extensive and competitive selection process.

“The Benevolent Society is an exceptionally strong service provider with a great track record as Australia’s first charity. For more than 200 years they have supported Australians to live their best life,” he said.

“They have an impressive plan to grow and expand the business, and a proven record in delivering supports to children, young people and adults with disability. Their safety and continuity of service throughout the transfer remains the priority.”

Other key factors in the decision were the Benevolent Society’s strong existing footprint in NSW, and ability to integrate clinical services into its business.

Benevolent Society CEO Jo Toohey said the organisation was well positioned to integrate clinical services, with the appropriate business systems, quality and risk management frameworks and resources to enable a successful transition.

“We aim to transform the specialist disability clinical services into a leading centre of excellence that is known for its research, practice development, clinical expertise and sector development to achieve better outcomes for people with disability.”

“Our strong focus on culture and people will ensure clients and staff are well supported,’’ Ms Toohey said.

The Benevolent Society is Australia’s oldest charity. It is a not-for-profit organisation focused on helping people, families and communities achieve positive change.

Download Media Release for Milestone for NDIS here


Signing the documents to become the new provider of disability clinical services in NSW are (from left) Benevolent Society CEO Jo Toohey, Board member Rob Warren, Chairman Lisa Chung, Ageing, Disability and Home Care Deputy Secretary Jim Longley and Minister for Disability Services Ray Williams.