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Submission SUB-B3X7-003634 (Anonymous)

Submission reference
SUB-B3X7-003634
Submission type
10 areas for improvement
How can we empower you through the planning process?

The ndis should fund initial assessments if none are accessible as not doing so increasing excludes people with low incomes from proving eligibility

What is the best way to provide supports for those not in the NDIS?

Many providers only see ndis clients as the remuneration and benefits are better than completing equivalent work for medicare. If the system is to be more equal then medicare needs to also increase.
Additionally additional funded services for children with mental health / trauma difficulties should be fully funded to see a mental health professional as needed rather than needing to access the ndis for this funding as they have a developmental delay.

How you would define reasonable and necessary?

A more flexible approach to reasonable and necessary for low cost low risk item would result in a reduction of spending as often the item requested cost less or a similar amount as is paid to the therapist to write a report recommending it. Families can replace item or follow advice without a formal report every time.
An understanding that reasonable and necessary should include looking at the whole family for example saying a support worker is not required for a young child as it is the parent’s responsibility does not account for the addition stress, lack of informal support, social isolation or needs of other family members.
Siblings should also be funded to attend sibling groups or counselling sessions to help understand their unique experiences.

What is the best way to support children with disability… and those with emerging developmental concerns?

Support for children should be delivered in spaces the family choose which should include the option that sessions happen in a centre or home or the community. Consideration should be given to higher plans for children in regional areas unable to avoid paying transport costs as no local therapists exist.

Professionals should focus on those able to understand family functioning prioritising social workers who can provide therapy and work with system. Individual therapy including speech and OT should be provided in small blocks if needed, not just added into every plan. Education staff including teachers should be funded by dept of Ed to help all children who need support develop school readiness, not used as quasi therapists funded by the ndis. There should be a really clear list of professionals who can be classified as eligible to deliver early childhood supports, and an understanding that they are required to be registered with the appropriate professional organisation even if delivering supports to plan or self managed clients.

How can the market be better designed, structured and supported?

Limited renumeration for newer qualified therapists. Currently a new grad charges the same as a specialist with 20 years experience. Qualification levels are lower to provide ndis services than other streams for example our local primary healthcare network funds a limited number of therapy sessions for children but therapists must have 2 years supervised post qualifying experience delivering mental health supports to children and evidence of 38 hours of specific training in children’s mental health interventions as well as a professional qualification in psychology, social work or occupational therapy. To delivery the same service for the ndis they just need to have completed their degree.

Improve the pay for group work to include an incentive for therapists to do this. Currently earning the same amount to provide group therapy to 4 kids as an individual session means everyone only offers individual sessions

Stop therapists charging travel to clients if they cannot offer a space for clients to come to see them. The explosion of mobile therapists who only see people at home or in the community and charge travel without maintaining a clinical space means they are charging high fees and have low overheads.

How should outcomes and performance be measured and shared?

Qualitative data focusing on family’s reporting improvements and long term benefits should be used to show impact, including improved access and engagement is education work training and social activities including volunteering.

How would you build better outcomes or goals into your plan?

This needs to be more flexibly applied so individuals can have long term goals

What does good service from someone helping you navigate the NDIS look like?

Returning calls
Helping access and navigate the scheme
Not a specific funded ndis item but a community service available to everyone who wants to access the scheme and everyone already on it

How should the safeguarding system be improved for a better NDIS?

All providers to be registered with their professional board and include membership numbers on invoices
All providers who are not registered with the ndia or their professional board to at a minimum complete a police check and working with children’s card and have these details registered with the ndia along with their abn.