Carers Alliance is determined to shift the model of services and supports for people living with disability from that of welfare to legislated rights and entitlements.
The consumer should always be at the heart of service provision.
Currently the block funded model sees recipients powerless and at the mercy of the funding body. The provider determines what services a person can have and when they can have them, allowing little autonomy.
Most people living with disability in Australia know where their best interests lie. It is not only reasonable but socially necessary to provide individually tailored services that fit into the lifestyle of the service user.
There is much evidence that state provided services often have little to do with the needs of the individual or the quality of services on offer, but the availability of supply – based on the funding submission and the ‘winning’ of specific contracts.
Not all people will want to self direct their own services but the choice should be available to all. Even those who do not want to self direct their own services should be provided with bank of money that they control so that the individual or their advocate (if a person cannot self direct without assistance) is able to move a person away from a provider if they find the provider is failing them.
Person centred support will see a dramatic change in the quality of services offered. It will change the living standards of people with disability and move them away from being passive recipients of care. Services will become market driven as they should be.
Block funding in the hands of poor service providers is dangerous to the service recipient, they are unable to escape from neglect, abuse or prohibited practices, particularly rife in some group home models with certain questionable service providers.
For too long governments have trusted people with disability or in the case of those dependent on care from family – the family – to provide the services, to pay for equipment and to manage with few supports. When it comes down to these same governments to place the same trust in allocating individuals full control of their funding, they run scared and fall up short (assuming they are the lucky few provided with a reasonable level of services – most are not).
In its simplest form, an individualised funding package is the provision of direct payments to people in order to purchase services they require, which is a transformative idea giving power to the service user. Payments can be made directly to the individual requiring support or an intermediary/broker who offers financial and/or case management. Alternatively, the individual can direct funding to a chosen service provider who meets the needs of the individual.
Carers Alliance believes a universal insurance scheme is the answer to the enormous unmet need. We are determined to ensure that Australia joins other first world nations in providing the supports and services that people need in order to live a reasonable quality of life.