Days after a number of stakeholders called on the Federal Government to keep its promises relating to the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in South Australia, Federal Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan has announced a $72 million investment into the delivery of frontline services under the scheme.
Service providers Baptcare and Mission Australia have been appointed as Partners in the Community (Partners) delivering Local Area Coordination (LAC) services in South Australia, joining existing supplier Feros Care.
The move sees a rapid expansion of LAC services across the state, with Baptcare delivering services to Yorke Mid North, Western and Eastern Adelaide from March 2018, and Mission Australia covering the services areas of Limestone Coast, Murray and Mallee, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island, Eyre & Western and Far North, and Southern Adelaide from April this year.
“This is another important milestone as we roll out the National Disability Insurance Scheme that will change the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians with a disability and create thousands of new jobs,” Mr Tehan says.
“Baptcare and Mission Australia are two experienced and respected organisations that have existing community connections and infrastructure which will allow them to quickly scale up across South Australia.”
Mission Australia State Director for South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, Noel Mundy says the organisation is thrilled to have been selected to deliver NDIS Local Area Coordination services in six regions across South Australia.
“While trialling the service in Tasmania, we’ve seen firsthand the important role that NDIS Local Area Coordinators can play in helping people and communities to navigate the often complex world of disability support.
“The programs we currently offer in SA, and across Australia, have provided us with an excellent platform and evidence to deliver these new services,” says Mr Mundy.
“We’re very much looking forward to delivering these services so we can ensure that people living with disability, their families, carers and local communities can navigate the NDIS and receive the supports they need, where they need them. “
Baptcare’s Chief Executive Graham Dangerfield welcomed the opportunity to participate in the national initiative and says delivering LAC services will enable the organisation to work with people with disability to build their independence and opportunities.
"The NDIS is Australia's most significant social policy reform in the last forty years, and Baptcare is pleased to be able to contribute to implementing it.''
“Through local area coordination, Baptcare can continue to impact and build the NDIS to ensure it stays true to its original vision of supporting a person with a disability to live an ‘ordinary’ life – a life which enables choice and control in the pursuit of goals, and the planning and delivery of supports.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with the NDIA to deliver LAC services to people with a disability, their families, carers and communities across South Australia, and to bring our experience in effective service delivery, as shown via the LAC services we currently provide in Tasmania, to the South Australian Service Areas.”
Minister Tehan says that the transition from state and territory services to the NDIS represents a major change, but is also a major improvement to the previous system.
“A service delivery project of this size has never been undertaken before anywhere in the world and all levels of government and the community and private sector need to work cooperatively together to realise the full potential of the scheme.
“The NDIS is changing lives. At Full Scheme, 460,000 Australians with disability will be assisted by the NDIS, in cooperation with our Partners, to fulfil their goals and participate in community life.”
The number of people accessing supports in South Australia is expected to grow from 17,000 to 32,300 by 2020.