Community Lifestyle Accommodation LTD (CLA) are voicing our serious concerns on the NDIS suddenly reversing their decision on Support Coordination (SC) line item to be removed from Core. This decision which was made in Oct 2020, made sense and helped many families that were under stress trying to cope with supporting their person to have all reasonable and necessary support to live a quality life in our community.
Whilst we agree that being able to use core funding for SC was brought in at the start of the COVID pandemic as a temporary measure, this was reversed to be on going in October (indefinitely) and furthermore this position was strengthened in the documentation re the proposed changes to Independent Assessments when it was stated that all core funding would be flexible.
It is totally unrealistic to make such a change to be implemented with such a short grace period (two working days), especially for those people who did not have any funding outside core for support coordination. Given the amount of time it takes to implement any changes, people could be left high and dry halfway through any actions underway. Support Coordination is an essential support for participants (complex needs & multi disabilities) and their carers e.g., the availability of an experienced advisor to persons who have difficulty in negotiating the complex NDIS system, especially those participants still living with ageing parents/carers.
Listed below are just a few examples of why it is essential to be able to allocate some core funding for support coordination.
- Support Coordinators are needed when a person has run out of support coordination money and needs a Support Coordinator to help them with a review.
- A family in crisis who has no support coordination money left or a family whose living circumstances or health has changed – carer in hospital, died, participant needs 24/7 care, support and services.
- Families that need to explore housing options –e.g., older participants still living with ageing parents whose medical condition has worsened or participants at risk of being injured, neglected who want the option to live in a home of their choice in their own community.
- The Support Coordinator has made appointments with providers that are willing to assist the participant, but due to the time involved in finalising a solution for their problem has to cease support due to no funding left for support coordination.
- Families that never had support coordination in their plan, but urgently need help to find new providers etc.
- In many plans there has not enough money to fund the required supports, how do they prepare for a plan review if they do not have available funds for support coordination?The haste at which this has been done leaves some families in a terrible mess as services have been agreed and put in place for the participant. Plus, why make drastic changes like this before the Minister responds to the disability sector’s submission to the Discussion papers on IA’s. This is extremely detrimental to the whole concept of the NDIS — CHOICE AND CONTROL.
NDIS participants must have flexibility to direct their support, care services – they must have the same human rights as all Australians.
How do SC cease support to vulnerable participants and their families considering the participants needs urgent support or support that will stop the families from going into crisis?
It is no longer acceptable for the government to make these poor decisions, as a wealthy Nation we should be supporting our most vulnerable citizens and their families.
Kevin Turner Chair CLA
Marie Hell Secretary CLA