On 1 July the NDIS rolled out to new regions across Australia, with North Eastern Melbourne (NEMA) as the first new region added in Victoria. The national NDIS rollout has seen some changes to the connection process. Contracted local area coordinators (LACs) will now provide first point of contact, some planning and follow up for Scheme participants in Victoria. For those with more complex support needs, planning will continue to be done internally by the NDIA – a process we know will need additional support for most young people in nursing homes.
The Summer Foundation has been providing additional support in connecting young people to the NDIS in the Barwon and Hunter trial sites through the NDIS Connections Project. Over two and a half years, the Summer Foundation helped connect 108 people to the NDIS who otherwise would not have connected to the Scheme. This project has demonstrated that people with complex support needs often require intensive assistance to engage with the NDIS.
Initial findings from the NDIS Connections Project demonstrate that there are significant gaps in the service system for young people in nursing homes. The streamlined approach embodied in the “My First Plan” concept assumes an existing relationship to the disability system. However only 25% of young people in residential aged care were found to have had any relationship to the disability system in trial sites. The NDIS needs to provide additional support to assist people with complex needs to register, prepare and implement their plan.
Drawing on findings from our project work, the Summer Foundation has created a Practice Guide for connecting young people in nursing homes to the NDIS. The guide is a tool to help support the capacity of the sector to connect with young people in nursing homes. It is now available as a free download here.
The Summer Foundation will continue to work in NDIS rollout areas for as long as necessary to assist young people in nursing homes to connect and engage with the NDIS. We recently welcomed Melody Carbarns to the NDIS Connections Team to assist with this work in the NEMA region and we look forward to reporting on our findings as the rollout continues.