The ISR was established to support people with disability who have ‘complex support needs’. The term ‘complex’ refers to the nature of an individual’s support needs, rather than the individual themselves and is not intended to be used as a label for a specific person.
There is no single definition of ‘complex support needs’. The term generally covers people who are:
- Experiencing (or at risk of experiencing) multiple and interrelated conditions or factors which contribute to the intensity of their support need
- Experiencing (or at risk of experiencing) one or more situational factors that impact on the complexity of their supports or the ability of informal supports to meet their needs
- Challenging the service system’s capacity to respond to their support needs because of its structure, approach to service delivery, organisation, resourcing or communication barriers.
Referrals can include people with multiple disabilities, behaviours of concern, health comorbidities, mental health issues, experience in the out of home care system, interactions with the criminal justice system or low school attendance. They may also include people who have few informal supports or a public guardian.
These people may need support to engage with services in an effective way.
Now that the NDIS is live, no one agency or level of government holds complete responsibility for supporting people with disability who have complex support needs. While NSW is committed to ensuring the NDIS delivers on its full potential for all participants, the government has an enduring responsibility to provide accessible mainstream services and an inclusive community.
Australian Governments approved the 2015 ‘Principles to Determine The Responsibilities of the NDIS and Other Service Systems’ to provide advice on funding and delivery responsibilities towards people with a disability. The Disability Inclusion Act 2014 also requires NSW agencies to tailor service delivery to meet the needs of people with disability and provides for collaboration and coordination in the provision of supports and services. The ISR is one of multiple initiatives that supports mainstream and disability services to work together to deliver outcomes in a coordinated way.