Determined to be a Service Provider
Under the NDIS
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Victoria, is determined to keep its large market share of group homes it manages across the state. It has its feet well in the Barwon/Geelong NDIS trial area - continuing to run its group homes there, supposedly under the NDIS banner. Whereas, the NDIS service intention is in total contrast to that of the overall DHHS service delivery.
Department managed group homes are frequently little more than hostels, rooming houses or mainly staff workplaces, where residents live within the department’s paranoid silo privacy with their families told, for example - they enjoyed a co-resident’s birthday party. Residents of group homes, those with a limited lifestyle, need a family friendly environment, not paranoid privacy.
This government department’s overall customer indifference is well entrenched in block funded public service, captive market, take it or leave it. In total contrast, the NDIS philosophy towards consumers is that they must have choice and control over matters which directly and indirectly affect them.
One of the factors which adversely affects the residents of group homes with block funded support services is Section 23 of the Residential Tenancies Act. This specifically denies residents having proper residential tenancy rights.
With proper and legal residential tenancy rights and ISP (Individual Support Package) support service funding, residents of group homes would have choice and control over who enters the house they are renting - the potential to have choice of service provider, choice of staff and choice of service contract.
In bundling the rent and house-keeping components of the residential charge, the DHHS has masked the rent component to further reduce the potential for residents to have proper residential tenancy rights. Conversely, the department has introduced two components on page 5 of the new Residential Statement in an attempt to make themselves appear NDIS friendly. These being:-
A roster is available in the group home identifying staff and the shift hours. Rosters are reviewed regularly and updated to reflect resident need. Rosters usually include overnight support such as sleepover or active night models.
We are advised this means: “Rosters are available on request to residents and their families”.
Whereas, since time immemorial staff rosters have been a taboo subject, where any resident/family daring to ask for a copy has been intimidated and even sent to coventry, and:
Support will be based on the information provided to us in relation to your day to day support requirements, your goals and aspirations required. Our staff will work with you to provide options and experiences that reflect your goals and needs.
Whereas, traditional group home support is prioritised as, 1. Administration, 2. Domestic Duties, 3, Personal Care and, 4. Quality of Life Care. We have had managers and staff say they have no time for number four. Whereas, number four should be number one.
The department’s further attempt to make itself attractive, is in giving residents free manchester and whitegoods in exchange for administrators handing over the commonwealth rent assistance to which they were not entitled until the department bundled the rent and housekeeping.
Conversely, paranoid silo privacy continues in parents being told that matters about other residents is none of their business. Whereas, it is, as matters which adversely affect other residents could well adversely affect their family member when they are no longer around or able to advocate.
National Disability Services (NDS) is very actively encouraging its members, Community Service Organisations (CSOs) , to move from a block funded, to a marketplace mindset. In total contrast to the DHHS who are extremely unlikely to change from their traditional government funded, public service management/staff comfy-zone mindset.
In conclusion it is accepted there are many department group homes which are run very well as a direct result of direct care staff integrity, rather than management direction. The failure of all levels of department management to ensure all service delivery equals service intent, results in residents saying they are lucky to be living in a good house. Whereas, all residents should be able to say this.
Note: DHHS FOI comment on the following item prior to its release was: The review document has been exempted in full pursuant to this section. The report document is still in draft form and the information contained within it is preliminary. The release of the report could mislead the public about the implementation of recommendations made by the VPSC as it may not reflect the final views and actions of the department in relation to charges in group homes.
Extra 1: VPSC Review of Residential Charges – Group Homes in
Extra 2: A JacksonRyan Anaylsis Paper on State response to CV
Extra 3: Broadmeadows Disability Services – NDIS
Extra 4: Smart Behaviour Management by Melbourne City Mission
Extra 5: Public Hearing of Abuse in Disability Services, Federation
Room, Parliament House, Victoria - Monday 22 June 2015 - 3:45pm to 4:45pm
Extra 6: Public Hearing for Senate Abuse Inquiry - Seminar rooms
2 & 3, Monash Conference Centre, Melbourne - 30 June 2015 -
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