Advocacy for people with disability in NSW

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The NSW Government has funded advocacy and information services which build the capacity of people with disability to access opportunities and understand their options, rights and responsibilities to make informed decisions.

This funding has mainly been for individual advocacy, information and representative services for people with disability in need of specialist disability supports.

Many of the disability advocacy-related activities currently funded by NSW will be funded through individual National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plans; NDIS Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grants program; and the Commonwealth funded National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) and Disability Representative Organisation (DRO) program.

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, including ensuring that people continue to have access to information and supports during the transition to the NDIS and in the early stages of full Scheme.

How will the NSW Government continue to support people with disability after 1 July, 2018?

The NSW Government is introducing a new Transitional Advocacy Funding Supplement.

The purpose of the Transitional Advocacy Funding Supplement is to provide services to people with disability during the first two years following the transition to the NDIS, to ensure there are no short-term practical gaps around advocacy and inclusion activities in the early years of full scheme.

It will also allow for the finalisation of the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) review currently being undertaken by the Commonwealth, and to fill any service gaps pending the review outcomes.

What does this mean for disability advocacy groups currently funded by the NSW Government?

It means existing non-government organisations which receive disability advocacy, information and representative funding under a current Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) Funding Agreement can apply for the funding supplement.

This will be a transitional safeguard for services that may not be funded by the Commonwealth including where providers may receive less funding or where there are gaps in funded services in the short term.

Organisations will receive funding up to what has previously been funded per annum; ILC funding will be taken into account to ensure there is no duplication of funded services between the Commonwealth and NSW Government.

How much funding is available?

Up to $13 million per annum over two years. The total will be determined in accordance with previously funded organisations meeting eligibility criteria.

Organisations will be encouraged to provide services which are outcomes-based, address identified gaps in available services, and are consistent with the NSW Government approach to disability inclusion.

Funding will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

What if disability advocacy groups also receive Commonwealth funding through the Information, Linkages and Capacity building (ILC) grants program?

ILC funding will be taken into account to ensure no duplication of funded services. Organisations which receive more or equal funding than previously through the ILC program will be considered for NSW Government funding if they can demonstrate a gap in the range of advocacy, information and representation services they were previously funded to provide to people with disability.

Funding will be of 12 months’ duration and provided in two annual funding supplement rounds, to align with the ILC grants process.

How can a non-government organisation apply for the Transitional Advocacy Funding Supplement?

The Funding Supplements will be administered by FACS. Following the announcement of the ILC National Readiness and NSW jurisdictional grants rounds, existing providers will be invited to submit a project plan for consideration and approval. Providers will need to outline how the supplement will benefit people with disability in NSW, with a key focus on services that support inclusion and improve access to mainstream services and communities, including regional and rural areas, Aboriginal communities and CALD communities.

For further information on the Transitional Advocacy Funding Supplement process, please contact the Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) Quality Unit on (02) 9377 6016 or email: ADHC-QualityTeam@facs.nsw.gov.au