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Submission SUB-C4B2-002181 (Anonymous)

Submission reference
SUB-C4B2-002181
Submission type
10 areas for improvement
How can we empower you through the planning process?

As a support coordinator it is our role to guide participants who are already on the NDIS through their plan reviews to ensure they are supported, what is concerning for providers is the wait times involved once you submit a change in circumstances, to when the new NDIS plan is released.

As a support coordinator I am also approached by people who are wanting to access the NDIS, and whilst I have helped them through this, it is time-consuming and I believe education with General Practitioners and within the Education system should be implemented to ensure when identifying a person with a disability, they have the capacity to lead this person and their family through the application process, because clearly they are not contacting the LAC to complete the work.

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

When the NDIS came into place, it provided a "dumping platform" with people in the community thinking the NDIS would resolve all their problems, as a result of this the services that were predominately in the community (prior to the NDIS) faded into the background and people in the community thought they would get all their supports through the NDIS.

I do not believe that people were "pushed to join the scheme" what I believe is the NDIS program failed to provide clear education around what the NDIS is used for and has resulted in people not understanding the difference between community supports vs government support and having the belief that the NDIS funding provided is to resolve all their disabiltiy concerns. As a support coordinator even trying to educate people who clearly think transporting their children (who do not have a disability and of the age to catch public transport or the school bus) is what the NDIS funding is used for, trying to explain to a participant who believes they can utilize their funding anyway they choose - has caused a massive misunderstanding of what NDIS funding is to be used for.

The NDIS need to implement ongoing education around what NDIS funding is within the community and schools, hospitals, justic systems.

How you would define reasonable and necessary?

As a support coordinator it is my role to explain to participants in layman terms in relation to what is set out in the legislation.

Reasonable - NDIS funding is being utilized to purchase supports and services that are related to a participant disability and can increase their independence.

Necessary - NDIS funding is being utilized to purchase support and services that are related to a participant disability and can increase their independence.

Example
Is it reasonable and necessary for a participant to use their NDIS funding to take a trip overseas with family members and then charge the support worker hours back to the NDIS.

Is it reasonable and necessary for a participant to use their NDIS funding to purchase everyday items that are not inline with their diagnosed disability and then charge it back to the NDIS and have this approved because the Plan Managers are not doing their job.

Is it reasonable and necessary for a participant to be renting an Airbnb in the hinterlands for weeks on end, with support workers in place, whilst other participants reside in Level 3 accommodation

Is it reasonable and necessary for a participant to believe because they have choice and control, they can do whatever they want with the NDIS funding even though it does not relate to their disability.

Yes the wording around Reasonable and Necessary could be changed and made clearer and having Plan Manager do their jobs properly and just not approve everything without really looking at wether the NDIS funding is R&N and related to the goals on a participant's plan.

Eg: I recently had a participant wanting to go away for 1 week cost to their plan $9000.00 - Plan Manager said YES - clarification was sought from myself as a support coordinator with the LAC and this was declined, as it was not reasonable or necessary, did not relate to the disability nor their NDIS goals.

There is no consistency with Plan Managers who say yes to everything. So education with Plan Managers is a MUST

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

Education around what the NDIS can provide to participants, what other community organizations can provide and other government bodies.

Linking participants to other services within their own community that can assist them in conjunction with the NDIS services, this could be completed when the LAC sets up the first meeting and discusses what the NDIS can / cannot do.

Restructure regional and remote NDIS funding to ensure participants who reside in these areas have access to the correct funding, supports and services, travel and transport.

As a support coordinator I do not carry heavy caseloads, the service we provide is based on outcomes "not $$$" we work extremely hard to ensure participants receive the supports and services they require, and take pride in our organization achieving results, this is demonstrated by long term participants within the organization.

Support coordination (L2 & L3) is often seen as the umbrella for getting the supports and services in place, but it is so much more, you often are dealing with high demands of participants, abuse, threats of complaints, working with multiple stakeholders, educating people in the NDIS space, long work hours, case management and families who are stressed and confused.

NDIS need to implement a standard of service provision by providers, everyone who enters the NDIS space needs to have at least a Diploma in Disability and/or higher Education background and work background.

I attend interagency and community meetings and people come to me and ask how can they get clients, can I give them clients, who do they contact to get clients, how do I engage with service providers, can you teach me what to do - this is concerning for me as a provider who has worked 20 years in the industry and to see people being accepted into the NDIS space who are a risk to participants, are not educated on what needs to be done, and then the end result is they burn through the NDIS funding with no outcomes.

NDIS need to set up a framework where service providers MUST be registered with the NDIS before they can provide any services to participants - it is ridiculous that there are so many service providers within the community that do not have a clue on what they are doing.

How should outcomes and performance be measured and shared?

All outcomes should be linked to NDIS goals -
Reporting outcomes via the NDIS portal should be mandatory by service providers
This could be done by the NDIS service contracts in the portal when a form is opened and key questions related to outcomes have to be answered and then submitted back into the portal.

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

NDIS goals and outcomes need to be more in-line with the participants disability
At present the goals on the NDIS plan are just a tick a box
Goals should be (short term - medium term and long term) not just copied from one section to the next (ie: same CORE Funding goals and Capacity Building goals)

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

Allied Health Services and Support Coordination have mandatory training and are linked to professional associations with ongoing training and learning to maintain their memberships. This should also be the same for support workers.

Plan Managers should do exactly what they are employed to do - manage the funding - more often than not Support Coordinators are explaining the NDIS funding, authorizing the invoices, speaking with the plan managers and LAC to determine if funding is reasonable and necessary, they are the chartered accountants, this is their role, but this does not happen and Support Coordinators are fielding these questions. Last time I looked my registration does not include Plan Management, therefore it is not the responsibility of the support coordinator to be doing this.

How should housing and living options be improved to build a good life?

Given the current housing crisis the capacity for participants to secure housing outside of the family home is limited, department of housing has lengthy wait lists, to secure funding for SILS is lengthy through the NDIS and you are not guaranteed to receive this, ILO is very confusing, community housing is stretched and the process overall through the NDIS needs to be reviewed.

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

Level of training and degree's need to be moved up from Level 3 disability to Diploma and above.
Regulation of service providers will reduce the saturation of current services within the NDIS space
This will provide good quality services when the benchmark for entering the NDIS space is lifted
Should be transparency of service delivery through non-government, government and NDIS
When working with partcipants stakeholder meetings should be conducted regularly with all services involved in the participants care.

Is there anything else that you would like to tell the NDIS Review?

YES.

Whilst everything is good in paper and legislation and these reviews provide an option for change and moving forward, it would appear the one thing the NDIS has not covered is the rights of a service provider.

Over the years, I have been abused, screamed at, threatened, intimidated and had participants be extremely condescending in their approach to service delivery when they are told the NDIS funding cannot be used for such an item, service or support.

I have worked with stakeholders and participants who have risk taking behaviors only to be shut down and dismissed by disability advocates, that the work we as stakeholders are doing is breaching the rights of a participant, even when it is very clear the advocates are placing the participant at risk.

Whilst participants have the capacity to lodge a formal complaint about service providers, I believe the NDIS should also provide a platform for formal complaint against a participant and/or their nominee and disability advocates.

Being on the ground and working on the front line, there are many other service providers who raise the same concerns, and even though the service providers are trying to educate the public around what the NDIS plan is supposed to be used for, we are often shut down with "choice and control" and in my professional opinion these two words should never have been linked with the NDIS, it has generated mis-understanding within the NDIS space and as a result participants and service providers are misappropriating NDIS funding with minimal to no outcomes, there needs to be consistency in how services are being delivered to NDIS participants and an avenue for providers to also make complaints about participants and service providers who are not doing the right thing for the participant.

Please do not mis-understand what I am saying everyone who walks this planet has choice and control - I do not see why it should be stated within the NDIS - if you have quality service providers, this is a given and they will know this, but will also have the capacity to educate and work within the boundaries of what is expected of the NDIS.

Please set up a complaints line for service providers so they too can have their concerns addressed.

Final words
NDIS is not the dumping ground for Psycho-social disability this needs to be moved back into QLD Health where it belongs.
NDIS is not the dumping ground for people who do not make appropriate life-style choices and present with co-morbidities in the health system and then get referred to the NDIS for access - other supports need to be implemented instead.
NDIS should not be funding people without the medical evidence required and the AAT should not be making decisions around this if there is no evidence to show they should be on the NDIS