Friday 13 May 2016
Bega Valley Shire Council’s Disability Team are preparing clients for the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) from July 1.
Council has provided disability services since 1992 and is well regarded by the people it supports every day.
“Our service is unique because we specialise in only one type of activity: providing support coordination to people under 65 who have a disability,” said Kristina Brenner, Manager Children, Families and Ageing.
“We have a small team of three case managers, but our staff are experts with decades of experience and local knowledge”.
Council’s disability support coordination services (previously known as case management services) are currently funded through the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.
However, once the NDIS rolls out in the Bega Valley Shire from July 1, people living with a disability will receive individual funding packages that reflect their personal goals, rather than the Government directly funding disability support organisations.
It’s a change that will empower people to purchase specific services from the provider they choose, giving clients more control over their care.
Under the NDIS, it is expected that more local people will be eligible to receive disability support services, and much more Government spending will go towards these supports.
Bega Valley Shire Council has been planning for the change and is ready to continue to provide valuable support beyond July 1.
“Clients and carers can feel overwhelmed trying to juggle all of the different agencies involved in their care – that’s why support coordination is so important,” Ms Brenner said.
“Our case managers help people identify their goals, get support from both mainstream and disability specific organisations, and provide assistance to ensure support networks are working well,”
“Many service partners have expressed their reliance on Council’s Disability Team when it comes to providing complex case management,” Ms Brenner said.
The NDIS rollout in the Bega Valley Shire will follow a staged process, with most people transitioning to the scheme from 2017 and beyond. However, some high-needs groups will transition in mid to late 2016.
Council currently has limited spaces to deliver support coordination to individuals under 65 who need round-the-clock support due to their disability. This group is expected to make the transition to NDIS in late 2016. These individuals and their families can call the Disability Team on 6499 2464 to find out more about how to access support coordination prior to the NDIS rollout.
Photograph: Council’s Disability Support team (from left), Irene Theodorakis, Margaret (Peggy) Storch, Matthew Peters and Karen Griffiths.