Community

National disability insurance scheme ‘faceless’ and rigid, inquiry told

National disability insurance scheme ‘faceless’ and rigid, inquiry told

Fears children could miss out on crucial early intervention services amid reports of families waiting 18 months for help

The national disability insurance scheme has become “faceless”, inaccessible, and risks causing children to miss out on crucial early intervention services, an inquiry has heard.

Successive witnesses have told a parliamentary inquiry into the NDIS that the scheme’s rollout had been marred by its inadequacies, including poor resourcing, a lack of expertise and significant delays in accessing support.

The inquiry spent Tuesday morning hearing evidence about the NDIS approach to early intervention early childhood support, which is targeted at young children with a disability or developmental delays.

One Victorian-based early intervention provider, Kalparrin, warned that the system had become inaccessible, impersonal and rigid in its interactions with families and services.

“This sector is about human services,” said Kalparrin’s chief executive, Mark Baigent. “It’s about personal connection, it’s about relationship building, it’s about empowering humans to make decisions about their own futures.

“What we’ve found with the majority of our clients … what they have come up against is a highly systemised, highly protective and very difficult to engage with the system, based on telephone calls and rigid procedures, which is the exact opposite of the very sector that the scheme is designed to service.”

A Kalparrin team manager, Teigan Leonard, gave an example to the inquiry. She said her local NDIS office did not have a phone number.

For a family to contact someone about their plan, they had to dial a general 1800 number, ask that an email be sent to their planner and wait for a call that sometimes never came.

“It’s quite a vicious circle in that regard, and certainly that’s been our experience,” Baigent said. “We live 800 metres from our office and we spend 99% of our time speaking to an office in South Australia.”

Witnesses warned of high turnover within the national disability insurance agency. Staff responsible for planning an individual’s support package – whose expertise varied from high to non-existent – were changing with alarming frequency, the inquiry heard.

The inquiry heard of delays of up to 18 months in accessing services.

Baigent said “financial intermediaries” were holding back funds that had been approved for participants. That left service providers out of pocket for long stretches, in some cases more than three months.

“Our current example of that is that Kalparrin is owed some $37,000 from financial intermediaries for services it ran 90 days ago,” Baigent said.

The NDIS approach to children aged six or younger relies on a series of early childhood partner organisations, who first assess children’s needs and either refer them for longer-term NDIS support, provide them with some short-term early intervention, or connect them with other support in the local area.

But there is considerable concern that the system will cause many children to miss out.

Children and Young People with Disability Australia, a representative body for 5,300 individuals aged 25 and under, warned the inquiry of a funding gap.

“There is real concern amongst many families that their children will receive less support once the NDIS rolls out in their area, with funding being withdrawn from existing state- and territory-based services,” said its chief executive, Stephanie Gotlib.

“Other families say that the process of accessing effective services and support has been an uphill battle because there is a lack of recognition and acknowledgement of the concerns that they have about their child’s development.”

Delays were a significant concern, Gotlib said. She had reports of some families waiting 18 months to access services.

Other reports suggested there was simply not enough funding to meet the demand.

Online Source The Guardian

Community

More in Community

Dhanteras 2017: Why do you buy gold, silver and utensils on this day; and things to remember while buying

Dhanteras 2017: Why do you buy gold, silver and utensils on this day; and things to remember while buying

The Indian TelegraphOctober 17, 2017
Official launch of Adani's Carmichael mine cancelled

Official launch of Adani’s Carmichael mine cancelled

The Indian TelegraphOctober 16, 2017
Diwali festival to light up Blacktown Showground this Sunday

Diwali festival to light up Blacktown Showground this Sunday

The Indian TelegraphOctober 14, 2017

Inside the mind of Ruma Mundi

The Indian TelegraphOctober 12, 2017

President seeks sustained engagement with overseas community

The Indian TelegraphOctober 12, 2017
NSW to weaken water quality test for extensions to mines

NSW to weaken water quality test for extensions to mines

The Indian TelegraphOctober 10, 2017
Masterchef Australia’s Chef George Calombaris on jalebis, spices and food fantasies

Masterchef Australia’s Chef George Calombaris on jalebis, spices and food fantasies

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 27, 2017
Aussies ‘treated like criminals’ at US border

Aussies ‘treated like criminals’ at US border

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 25, 2017
Lord Ganesha

Calls to ban ‘insulting’ lamb ad featuring Ganesha dismissed by standards bureau

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 19, 2017
Shark alert issued after man injured in Point Samson

Shark alert issued after man injured in Point Samson

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 12, 2017
Peppa Pig 'spiders can't hurt you' episode pulled off air in Australia – again

Peppa Pig ‘spiders can’t hurt you’ episode pulled off air in Australia – again

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 5, 2017
Australian Number Plate Sells For Record-Breaking $2.45 Million

Australian Number Plate Sells For Record-Breaking $2.45 Million

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 2, 2017
Shark nets to be trialled again on New South Wales north coast beaches

Shark nets to be trialled again on New South Wales north coast beaches

The Indian TelegraphSeptember 1, 2017
Police search for man who indecently assaulted teenager

Police search for man who indecently assaulted teenager

The Indian TelegraphAugust 30, 2017
Australia offers to train Philippine army in fight against Islamic State

Australia offers to train Philippine army in fight against Islamic State

The Indian TelegraphAugust 29, 2017
Bail for man accused of driving getaway car in Bondi attack

Bail for man accused of driving getaway car in Bondi attack

The Indian TelegraphAugust 26, 2017
National Skills Week 2017: Vocational training is the first step for many creative careers

National Skills Week 2017: Vocational training is the first step for many creative careers

The Indian TelegraphAugust 26, 2017
Proposed citizenship changes might have prevented Sydney siege, official says

Proposed citizenship changes might have prevented Sydney siege, official says

The Indian TelegraphAugust 25, 2017
Coalition urges high court to fast-track MPs' citizenship cases

Coalition urges high court to fast-track MPs’ citizenship cases

The Indian TelegraphAugust 23, 2017
Facebook

Senate hears Facebook pays news publishers average of $100 a day to use content

The Indian TelegraphAugust 23, 2017
Drivers are being urged to stay clear of central Moonee Ponds as police conduct safety checks

Drivers are being urged to stay clear of central Moonee Ponds as police conduct safety checks

The Indian TelegraphAugust 21, 2017