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Down Syndrome NSW
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Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Direct Funding - dscussion paper from NSW Liberals/Nationals

An interesting initiative from the NSW Opposition, on Direct Funding for people with disabilities - more detail is available from communityNet and the discussion paper, Personalising Service Delivery, a Discussion Paper by the NSW Liberals/Nationals, can be downloaded from here.
Opposition pledges new deal for disabled
Brian Robins, Sydney Morning Herald, April 6, 2009

The NSW Opposition is proposing to overhaul the delivery of disability services, which may emerge as a template for its approach to social services in the state if it gains power in 2011.

It said its policy was to give disabled people money and the ability to choose the services they needed, rather than having this organised for them by government-provided caseworkers.

This approach has already been adopted in other states, such as Victoria and Queensland, but with only small pilot programs under way in NSW.

"The emphasis on quality of life outcomes for people with disability is central to the development of our plan," the Opposition spokesman on Disability Services, Andrew Constance, said. The Opposition released a discussion paper outlining its proposal as it seeks to win broader backing for the plan.

"It's going to require quite a rejig of the existing process," said Catherine Hogan, the director of Family Advocacy, a disability support group.

"At present, control resides with the Government. But until this is turned around, giving people with disability and their families the ability to choose what they need and where to get it, then people with disabilities will remain vulnerable.
"We have too many people abandoned by the system."

Mr Constance said: "We have to increasingly look at giving back choice and control. It needs to be done very carefully and cautiously, but we need to put a stake in the ground on this."

He said much discussion within the social services sector had focused on individualised funding packages.

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