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Accommodation Services Family Update

Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 10 September 2021

Update to Accommodation Services Client Fees Proposed Structure for consultation

Last week families and friends received through preferred means (email or mail) the Client Fees Proposed Structure (PDF 371.5 KB), which is currently being consulted on until Friday 17 September 2021.

An incorrect email address was included on page 7 of that document, to send questions and feedback during the consultation process. The email address was included correctly within the email and letter.

Here is the updated document with correct email address AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au now included.

Here is the Client Fees Proposed Structure (PDF 371.5 KB)

How to contact us

If you have any queries about your family member or friend, you can:

If you know another family member or friend who would like to receive this e-newsletter, please encourage them to sign up via th DHS website or phone 1800 952 962.

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 1 September 2021

Accommodation Services Client Fees Proposed Structure for consultation

Accommodation Services has undertaken a review of Client Fees in 2021 and we are now consulted on a Proposed Structure about Client Fees.

Client Fees are how people supported by Accommodation Services pay for their everyday living expenses. It is usually paid through their Disability Support Pension (DSP).

There are currently 11 different fees, plus individually negotiated arrangements, which means people pay different amounts for the same everyday living expenses. A proposal has been developed from the review process to provide clarity and equity for people supported by Accommodation Services.

Here is the Client Fees Proposed Structure (PDF 371.5 KB)

If you have any difficulties downloading the PDF file, please contact us using the details below.

Deadline for consultation

The consultation process is open until 5.00 pm on Friday 17 September 2021. We have increased the consultation period by one week, providing more time for you to have your say.

Family Forums in August provided an opportunity for family members and guardians to ask questions about the proposed structure.

Family Forum webinar recording from Tuesday 24 August 2021

How to contact us

If you have any queries about your family member or friend, you can:

If you know another family member or friend who would like to receive this e-newsletter, please encourage them to sign up via th DHS website or phone 1800 952 962.

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 16 August 2021

Reminder: August Family Forums

Accommodation Services Family Forums begin this Friday, 20 August 2021.

The forums will provide you with an update on COVID-19 response and vaccinations, and specific information about the 2021 Client Fees Review including a Client Fees proposal for consultation.

For the first time since 2019 there will be opportunities to attend an in-person forum. All forums will cover the same content, so you only need to attend once. The webinar option will also be recorded and available on our website to view at a suitable time for you, if you are unable to attend.

Family Forum Metro South

Friday 20 August 2021 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Flinders Room, Tonsley Hotel, 1274 South Road, Tonsley

Please RSVP by phoning 1800 952 962 (press 3) or emailing accomfeedback@sa.gov.au.

Family Forum Metro North

Monday 23 August 2021 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Starlight Room, Sfera’s Park Centre, 191 Reservoir Road, Modbury

Please RSVP by phoning 1800 952 962 (press 3) or emailing accomfeedback@sa.gov.au.

Family Forum Webinar

Tuesday 24 August 2021 from 2.00 pm to 3.00 pm
Link to enter the Zoom meeting

Please check your letter for the Zoom passcode, or phone us on 1800 952 962 (press 3)

Thank you to everyone who has already sent in an RSVP.

How to contact us

If you have any queries about your family member or friend, you can:

If you know another family member or friend who would like to receive this e-newsletter, please encourage them to sign up via th DHS website or phone 1800 952 962.

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 28 July 2021

Continuity in service delivery

In 2020, we committed to becoming a fully registered NDIS provider, enabling us to continue providing Accommodation Services on an ongoing basis. This was positive news, providing greater certainty for your family member or friend supported by Accommodation Services. Implementation of processes and activities for service sustainability are now well underway.

Activities to allow Accommodation Services to be sustainable in the future have meant we have provided a great deal of information and communications to you in 2021.

This has included:

  • asking you to consider the introduction of Service Agreements for NDIS participants, and
  • taking part in audits against the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework.

Consent processes for first and second dose COVID-19 vaccinations added to the consents we sought from you.

Setting up the organisation as a fully registered NDIS provider with sustainable systems and structures into the future means we will continue to provide you with information, and in some cases, seek consent for service changes in the future. This important work means your family member or friend will have continuity in their service delivery in the future.

Client fee review

A review of Client Fees has been underway in 2021, as we outlined to you earlier in the year.

Client Fees are the items and services supporting everyday living, where payment has been coordinated by DHS.

Examples of these items and services include:

  • food
  • furniture
  • electricity
  • telephone bills.

Likely your family member or friend pays for these items through their Disability Support Pension.

Currently there are 17 different fee schedules across our service. This means people pay different amounts for Client Fee items.

Objectives of the review include the introduction of a fee schedule developed in consultation with clients and families to make paying for items and services simpler and fairer.

Family forums to discuss client fees

Three forums have been set up to support you, to enable all families and guardians to hear more about the review process, and to provide an opportunity for you to voice your views on items and services that should be included or excluded within Client Fees.

For the first time since 2019 there will be opportunities to attend an in-person forum. All forums will cover the same content, so you only need to attend once. The webinar option will also be recorded and available on our website to view at a suitable time for you, if you are not able to attend any of the following times:

Family Forum Metro South

Friday 20 August 2021 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Flinders Room, Tonsley Hotel, 1274 South Road, Tonsley

Please RSVP by phoning 1800 952 962 (press 3) or emailing accomfeedback@sa.gov.au.

Family Forum Metro North

Monday 23 August 2021 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
Starlight Room, Sfera’s Park Centre, 191 Reservoir Road, Modbury

Please RSVP by phoning 1800 952 962 (press 3) or emailing accomfeedback@sa.gov.au.

Family Forum Webinar

Tuesday 24 August 2021 from 2.00 pm to 3.00 pm
Link to enter the Zoom meeting

Please check your letter for the Zoom passcode, or phone us on 1800 952 962 (press 3)

Information from Accommodation Services over the next 6 months

You can expect to hear more from us about the following activities in 2021:

  • Stage 2 of the Audit against NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework
  • Introduction of Service Agreements for those funded by Disability Support for Older Australians (previously known of Continuity of Support)
  • Changes to restrictive practices laws in South Australia and what that means for people supported by Accommodation Services
  • Changes to the Supported Independent Living rosters

You are receiving this message based on your listed, preferred communications method. If that does not represent the way you now prefer to receive information, or you have any questions about the information included in this letter, please phone 1800 952 962 (and press 3).

Joe Young
Executive Director
Disability Services

Muriel Kirkby
Director
Disability Services

How to contact us

If you have any queries about your family member or friend, you can:

If you know another family member or friend who would like to receive this e-newsletter, please encourage them to sign up via th DHS website or phone 1800 952 962.

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 20 July 2021

COVID-19 Update – July ‘stay at home’ order

With today’s South Australian Government announcement of a seven-day stay at home order, we would like to update you about what this means for your family member or friend and staying connected with them.

As we know from previous 'stay at home' orders in 2020, the purpose is on social distancing to help protect the health of the people we support and to keep them safe.

We also want life to continue as normally as possible for them, with opportunities to maintain a routine and stay connected to their family and friends.

The following visitor and activity restrictions come into place from 6.00 pm tonight

  • If your family member or friend has visitation included as a specific aspect of their care plan, we will work with you to arrange visits in a COVID-safe way
  • If you family member or friend doesn’t have visitation included as a specific aspect of their care plan, but there is an emergency, we will again work with you to arrange visits in a COVID-safe way
  • Non-essential activities outside the homes are limited. Where a scheduled activity is available, we will organise for your family member or friend to be transported in a COVID-safe manner to the activity.

When visiting, COVID safe measures include

  • Wearing a face mask
  • Undertaking social distancing measures, and
  • Not attending if you are feeling unwell.

More information about face masks and their use from the SA Health website.

Please speak with the relevant Area Manager to help us manage these visits safety for the people we support.

Ways to stay connected and provide routine for the people we support

  • FaceTime and other video calls as well as telephone calls
  • The Positive Behaviour Support team are implementing ways to assist with challenging behaviours, including individual outings to activities that remain open, and safe and appropriate alternate locations
  • Ensuring people who work continue their daily routine in a COVID-safe manner
  • Undertaking activities within houses to keep the people we support engaged and positive in their outlook.

We will keep you up to date with information as it becomes available.

If you have any questions about visiting or about your family member or friend during the stay at home order, please email AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au or phone 1800 952 962 (and press 3).

Joe Young
Executive Director
Disability Services

Muriel Kirkby
Director
Disability Services

How to contact us

If you have any queries about your family member or friend, you can:

For now, we are also providing updates on the Family Update webpage.

If you know another family member or friend who would like to receive this e-newsletter, please encourage them to sign up via th DHS website or phone 1800 952 962.

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 19 July 2021

Welcome to our July 2021 edition of the Accommodation Services Family and Friends e-newsletter.

2021 continues with pace, as Accommodation Services progresses to become a fully registered NDIS provider with updated systems and processes, so that our service is here, supporting your family member or friend, into the future.

As a service, Accommodation Services came about many years ago from the merger of other government disability services (like Julia Farr Services and the Intellectual Disability Services Council). This history means that we have expertise in supporting people with highly complex needs. As we continue to provide state-run disability accommodation services on an ongoing basis, there is a need to bring a consistency of structures, systems and processes together, along with being a fully registered NDIS provider.

We acknowledge that we have provided families with a great deal of information this year, and sought a number of consents, as we progress these activities. It is important that you are involved and informed about the changes happening in our service. 

Shortly you will receive more information from us about the Client Fee Review that has been undertaken. Currently there are 17 different fee schedules across our service. This means people pay different amounts for Client Fee items. 

A clear objective of the Client Fee Review is been to make paying for items and services to support everyday living, simpler and fairer.

In August, we want to hear your views and thoughts about how Client Fees can be fairer for the people we support. For the first time since we have been responding to COVID-19, we will hold Family Forums in person.

Please save the following dates:
*    Family Forum, metro-south location, Friday 20 August 2021
*    Family Forum, metro-north, Monday 23 August 2021
*    Family Forum, webinar, Tuesday 24 August 2021

Location and webinar details will be provided shortly. We look forward to the opportunity to meet with you in-person and via webinar, next month.

Joe Young
Executive Director, Disability Services

Muriel Kirkby
Director, Accommodation Services

COVID-19 response and vaccinations

Thank you for your understanding and adapting to South Australia's recent tightening of COVID-19 restrictions over the past few weeks, when visiting your family member or friend.

We are in a period of time when restrictions are regularly changing. As of midnight tonight, masks must be worn for all high-risk settings and in shared indoor spaces where distancing can't be maintained. Additionally, there will be caps on private activities to 10 people.

To manage the 10 person cap in homes supported by Accommodation Services, staff can coordinate online meetings and phone calls and if you are planning to visit in person, please call ahead to support staff stagger visits. All visitors will be required to wear a face mask.

At this time, we understand that day activities continue with the non-government sector, run under their COVID-Safe plans. Participants will need to wear face masks.

Updated directions announced by the South Australian Government today will be published later this evening on the sa.gov.au website.

Information about restrictions for those who have recently travelled interstate can be found on the SA Health contract tracing webpage. 

Now that it has been confirmed there is community transmission of COVID-19 in South Australia, it is so important that we all remain vigilant against the spread of COVID-19. Please continue to scan QR codes when visiting your family member or friend, follow COVID-safe practices, get tested at any sign of COVID-19 symptoms and please don't attend an Accommodation Services supported home if you are feeling unwell.

We know that increasing COVID-19 vaccinations is one of our strongest protections from outbreaks of COVID-19, like what is being experienced in Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland.

We are pleased to advise that 402, of approximately 500 people supported by Accommodation Services, are now fully vaccinated. An additional 21 people have received their first dose. This is based on receiving GP and family or guardian consent to provide vaccinations.

Accommodation Services continues to provide the AstraZenca vaccination to staff through our own clinic at Highgate Park and is working with SA Health and staff to support those who require the Pfizer vaccination. This work continues to remain a priority of DHS.

Court appearance of a former disability worker

Last year we told you about the arrest of former disability worker, Arjun Kandel, for alleged sexual assault offences and committed to keeping you informed as new information becomes available. 

Last week, Arjun Kandel appeared in the Adelaide District Court where he again entered pleas of not guilty. While there will be ongoing legal discussions later this year, a trial date has been set for 11 April 2022. It is expected to run for seven days. 

While this continues to be a very difficult situation, our peak concern remains the safety of everyone we support and ensuring all possible safeguards remain a priority. 

If you have any questions or concerns relating to this matter, our dedicated phone service for families and guardians remains available on 1800 952 962 (dial 3), or you can email us at AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au

For any other matters about your family member or friend’s needs, please continue to speak directly with your Service Coordinator.

New Accommodation Services office in Adelaide’s north

Accommodation Services is in the process of consolidating a number of offices and opening a new, larger office in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

From Monday, 12 July 2021 we begain operating from our new office at Mawson Lakes.

Mawson Lakes office

Endeavour House Module 1
11 Fourth Avenue
Mawson Lakes

Cheltenham and Salisbury Offices

From Monday, 19 July 2021 staff from our Cheltenham and Salisbury Office will be joining our Mawson Lakes office.

The office telephone numbers are no longer in use. You can speak with your family member or friend’s Service Coordinator directly, by contacting them on their mobile number.

If you do not have a mobile number for the Accommodation Services staff you regularly speak with, please phone 1800 952 962 (and press 3).

Area change for people supported in Kadina

The responsibility of area management for Kadina has now shifted to the more closely located Playford Area Manager, Wayne Cunningham, and Team Leader, Adam Phillips.

Our Team Supervisor in Kadina stays the same with Rachel Toribio, coordinating with fellow Team Supervisor Paula Goller.

If you would like to speak with Wayne or Adam in the future and don't have their contact details, please call 1800 952 962 (and press 3). Our Team will be able to provide contact phone and email information.

NAIDOC week celebrations

NAIDOC Week is held in July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

A barbecue with friends and families was held on Sunday 18 July 2021, at one of the houses supported by Accommodation Services in Adelaide's western suburbs.

Muriel Kirkby and Accommodation Services staff were very pleased to be invited and share in this important week and gathering. Thank you for a wonderful afternoon.

Team Supervisor leadership forums

Last week Team Supervisors in Accommodation Services completed their second day in the latest series of leadership forums.

Around 100 Team Supervisors have been joined by Accommodation Services Director, Muriel Kirkby and Assistant Director, Mark Perry, to hear about a broad range of activities being undertaken and participate in workshops to support their leadership roles. These included the future of Accommodation Services, NDIS updates, restrictive practices and development opportunities.

Our leadership sessions continue, as we progress our reforms to become a fully registered NDIS provider and align our service model to these changes.

Huntington’s Coffee

There was a slithery surprise for one of the men we support at his regular coffee catch up.

Chris enjoys Huntington SA & NT's 'Coffee and Co' support group event for people with Huntington's.

It's a weekly session to chat, eat and enjoy the company of those who have shared experiences with the disease. No one realised that new activities each week would lead to meeting a tree python called Baby, but Chris' interest alongside his sister, Mignon, was obvious!

More information about the sessions at Glandore is available on Huntington SA & NT's website.

How to contact us

If you have any queries about your family member or friend, you can:

For now, we are also providing updates on the Family Update webpage.

If you know another family member or friend who would like to receive this e-newsletter, please encourage them to sign up via th DHS website or phone 1800 952 962.

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 15 July 2021

New Accommodation Services office in Adelaide’s north

Accommodation Services is in the process of consolidating a number of offices and opening a new, larger office in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

From Monday 12 July 2021, we began operating from our new office at Mawson Lakes.

Mawson Lakes office

Endeavour House Module 1
11 Fourth Avenue
Mawson Lakes

Cheltenham and Salisbury offices

From Monday 19 July 2021, staff from our Cheltenham and Salisbury Offices will be joining our Mawson Lakes office.

Phoning members of staff

The office telephone numbers are no longer in use. You can speak with your family member or friend’s Service Coordinator directly, by calling them on their mobile number.

If you do not have a mobile number for the Accommodation Services staff you regularly speak with, please phone 1800 952 962 (press 3).

If this matter raises concerns for you or you have questions please let us know.

Phone 1800 952 962 (press 3)
Email AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au.

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 17 June 2021

Update: Disability Royal Commission

Last week the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability held a hearing in Adelaide providing an important opportunity for families, sector representatives and agencies to share their experiences.

A number of staff from DHS and Accommodation Services also participated as the commission focused on State Government delivered disability services, and the lived experiences of people with disability. It is a very important process, welcomed by our department.

Today South Australia has some of the strongest safeguards for people with disability ever enacted in this state, but there is still more that can be done to ensure the people we support continue to feel safe and happy in our care. We look forward to any recommendations the Commission may make to improve policies, structures, and practices to ensure a more inclusive and just society.

Our establishment of the Zero Tolerance to Abuse and Neglect Strategy as part of the new Practice, Quality and Safeguarding Framework, increased education for staff on how to recognise and report suspected abuse and neglect, and a pilot project to install CCTV cameras in homes are just some of the steps we have taken to increase the safety of people we support.

In becoming a registered NDIS provider and continuing to deliver our service in the future, we have committed to strengthening safeguarding systems and practices, combined with initiatives that empower people with disability to be active and recognised contributors in their community. Any recommendations provided by the Royal Commission will add to this approach.

If you have questions or feedback about issues raised during this week’s Royal Commission hearing, as well as about systems and reforms relating to the safety of your family member or friend supported by Accommodation Services, we welcome your interest. Please find our contact information below.

Additionally, the Blue Knot Foundation, the National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma, is a specialist counselling support and referral service and is providing free support for those impacted by issues raised by the Royal Commission.

Phone the Blue Knot Foundation’s National Counselling and Referral Service on 1800 421 468

Hours:

  • 9.00 am – 6.00 pm AEST Monday to Friday
  • 9.00 am – 5.00 pm AEST Saturday, Sunday and public holidays

Industrial Action in Accommodation Services

Today, the department received notification from United Workers Union (UWU) that industrial action is taking place within Accommodation Services. It relates to a whole-of-government enterprise bargaining process.

Industrial bans proposed do not affect the duty of care to people we support.

DHS is working with Accommodation Services staff and UWU to ensure that this action does not impact client safety.

Staff have been clearly reminded that bans cannot impact the duty of care to people we support and this must be considered first, before any other issue.

If this matter raises concerns for you or you have questions please let us know.

Phone 1800 952 962 (press 3)
Email AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au.

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 8 June 2021

Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

Yesterday, the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability commenced a public hearing in Adelaide at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

The focus of the hearing is on preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in disability services in South Australia. The Commission is hearing from families, experts and government staff.

Some of the information shared may be very difficult to hear, and we acknowledge and respect the courage it takes for individuals and families to share their stories. It’s vital to shine a light on the experiences of people with disability and the practices of a sector that has undergone major changes over recent years.

The Royal Commission is dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of people living with disability, and this is a purpose we wholeheartedly share. While we regularly make improvements to our service that enhance the safety and wellbeing of our clients, the department looks forward to receiving any recommendations the Commission may make about our service specifically, or the disability sector broadly.

We will continue to share updates with all our clients’ families and guardians about this week’s public hearing in Adelaide. If you have any questions or concerns about the services your family or friend receives from us, please do not hesitate to contact your service coordinator or anyone in management (including us).

All public hearings of the Royal Commission are recorded and streamed live on the Royal Commission website, and have live captioning and Auslan-English interpreters.  Blue Knot Foundation offers free, specialist counselling support for anyone affected by the Disability Royal Commission or you can contact your service coordinator if you require any extra support from us.

For further information on the Adelaide public hearing, you can visit the Disability Royal Commission website.

Lois Boswell
Chief Executive, Department of Human Services

Joe Young
Executive Director, Disability Services

Muriel Kirkby
Director, Accommodation Services

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 4 June 2021

Welcome to another instalment of our Family and Friends newsletter. 

Next week, the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability will conduct a public hearing in Adelaide from Monday 7 June 2021 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

The focus of the hearing will be ‘preventing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation in disability services (South Australia)’.  

In case you’re not aware, the Disability Royal Commission was established in April 2019 in response to community concern about widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of, people with disability.

The Royal Commission is an investigation, independent of government, that will examine the experiences of people with disability and make recommendations to government about what should change.

It is vital to shine a light on the experiences of people with disability and the practices of a sector that has undergone major changes over recent years.

It’s for this reason that the Department of Human Services welcomes this investigation and is very supportive of the Commission’s work.

The safety and wellbeing of people living with disability is of the utmost importance and, while the disability sector is making real progress, there is still a long way to go and we look forward to considering any recommendations the Royal Commission may make about our service.

All public hearings of the Royal Commission are recorded and streamed live on the Royal Commission website, and have live captioning and Auslan-English interpreters.  

For further information on the Adelaide public hearing, you can visit the Disability Royal Commission website

Joe Young
Executive Director, Disability Services

Muriel Kirkby
Director, Accommodation Services

COVID-19 visitor restrictions

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by Victoria’s COVID-19 outbreak as the community works together to bring it under control.

This has prompted South Australian Government restrictions that prevent entry to disability support settings, including the homes in which we offer support, by anyone who has been in Victoria since 20 May 2021. This restriction applies to individuals for 14 days following their arrival in South Australia.

While Victoria’s lockdown and the travel restrictions applied at our borders have reduced the number of potential visitors or staff coming in from Victoria, we must remain vigilant as we work to provide a safe home for the people we support.

COVID-19 vaccination update

Another COVID-19 vaccination clinic has been held this week for Accommodation Services staff in the over 50s category.  We also are continuing to seek details from staff aged under 50 who have booked in for vaccinations through SA Health’s clinics.

More than 420 of the people we support have received their first vaccination. As we approach the recommended 12 week waiting period between doses, further clinics are now being planned for those needing their second dose.

Guardians and primary contacts will be contacted soon to confirm plans for the second dose.

Meantime, we will continue to work with our frontline staff, helping navigate any needs to enable vaccine bookings, including, where necessary, outside of rostered shifts for which they can claim an hour’s pay.

Tracey Gibb's choice and control in action

A well-known and much-loved identity, supported by Accommodation Services for almost 20 years, is embracing the choice and control offered by her transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Tracey Gibb experienced a rare brain stem stroke 19 years ago, leaving her with locked-in syndrome (meaning she can’t move her body, speak or have facial expressions). Tracey previously lived with institutionalised support at Highgate Park. This week she welcomed an exciting new freedom, shifting into her own new CBD apartment where she also continues her job with an enthusiastic outlook.

Tracey is spearheading what is possible for people with disability. She has flourished, winning last year’s Stroke Foundation Courage Award, judging this year’s awards and pursuing an open university degree.

Now Tracey has implemented, along with her re-location, a new support model for which she has interviewed and chosen all of her new support staff. This provides her the comfort of having the right mix of support around her to pursue the next big adventures on her radar.

Becoming a fully registered NDIS provider

This year, we have been in contact with you regularly about changes to our service that will allow us to continue supporting your family member or friend in the future.

As way of update, we expect auditors to visit our houses and meet with the people we support, their family members or guardians and staff over the next few months. This will complete Stage 2 of the NDIS Practice Standards and Quality Indicators Certification Audit.

As outlined previously, a review is underway of client fees relating to meals, utilities, communal furniture, whitegoods and general household consumables. A consultation process with the Accommodation Services Client Influencer Group will begin shortly. We are also in the process of organising family forums. You will be invited to take part. This will be an opportunity to learn more about the review process and give your thoughts and views on client fees and opportunities for improvement.

Over the second half of 2021, work continues, including transitioning the eligible people we support to the Australian Government’s Disability Support for Older Australians (DSOA) funding program, which replaces the Continuity of Support (CoS) program.

If you have any questions about our process to become an NDIS provider, please speak with your family member or friend’s Service Coordinator. Alternatively, you can call 1800 952 962 (and press 3).

Family satisfaction survey is coming

Accommodation Services is planning to conduct a family satisfaction survey in coming months.

It will seek input from key family and friends and discuss the services we provide. We look forward to circulating the survey as soon as it’s prepared.

Disability support traineeships

The second group of DHS Accommodation Services’ new trainee disability support workers have finishing their introductory training as part of a two-year South Australian Government budget initiative to deliver 175 trainees across Adelaide, Mount Gambier and Kadina.

The recruits have been allocated homes, along with a mentor, where they continue their training experience. They are also spending one day off-site per week to achieve their certified qualification at the end of twelve months.

Up to 85 roles will be filled this year with more recruitment rounds to follow in 2022.

Have Your Say – strong safeguards

People with disability, their carers and those who work in the disability sector can have their say on the regulation of restrictive practices in South Australia.

New laws passed by the South Australian Parliament last month allow for the establishment of an authorisation regime for ‘restrictive practices’, a term that describes a wide range of practices that may restrict a person’s human rights.

New regulations are now being developed to guide the application of the law, and all South Australians are invited to have their say.

South Australia’s new laws support the use of appropriately measured and ethical practices to better support people with disability and ensures that restrictive practices are only used as a last resort.

This is an important step in achieving South Australia’s commitment to reducing and eliminating the use of restrictive practices over time.

Public consultation on the regulations is open now and will close on 2 July 2021.

After the regulations have been developed, further public consultation will take place on the development of restrictive practice authorisation guidelines.

More information on South Australia’s restrictive practices legislation on the DHS website.

Report it Right – disability media guidelines

Input is also being sought on new guidelines designed to help journalists and other media professionals better engage people with disability.

A state-wide consultation has opened on the new ‘Report it Right’ guidelines – developed by the Department of Human Services with input from leading South Australian print, television and radio journalists, people with lived experience of disability and disability advocates.

It’s anticipated the guidelines can support members of the media and other content creators to report stories in an inclusive way, shifting perceptions of what it means to live with disability.

As active members of our community who make positive contributions in a wide variety of ways, they deserve to see themselves reflected in the media as such.

The guidelines provide advice and inclusive language tips such as using "lives with disability" rather than "suffers from".

Read the draft ‘Report it Right’ guidelines and provide feedback

A song and dance

We enjoyed seeing some delighted housemates at two of the homes supported by Accommodation Services when last week they were entertained by emerging performance group, I-Caspa.

The troupe of singers and dancers arranged a visit to their shared homes, after forming as part of an NDIS community participation initiative.

The group set up a stage area in the backyard and the sun shone making it a perfect day for a concert on the lawn.

By all accounts the show was a hit and the performance group proving to be a real confidence builder for all involved.

Legislation introduced to improve supports for NDIS participants at risk of harm

The Australian Government has introduced legislation that strengthens the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner’s powers to improve supports for NDIS participants.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Improving Supports for At Risk Participants) Bill 2021 builds on actions already taken by the Quality and Safeguards Commission in response to the review by Hon Alan Robertson SC.

The Robertson review was commissioned by the NDIS Commissioner, to examine the adequacy of the regulation of NDIS services provided to Ms Ann-Marie Smith, an NDIS participant who died tragically in April 2020.

This Bill will support the implementation of essential changes in response to a number of the Robertson Review recommendations which required legislative changes. It strengthens the Commissioner’s compliance and enforcement powers, clarifies provider registration provisions and enables effective information sharing.

Complaint handling

The people we support in Accommodation Services as well as their families, friends and guardians, have several options through which to provide feedback and complaints.

Details for anyone wanting to give specific feedback for Accommodation Services are on the DHS website. This site also includes external reporting avenues if families and friends are wanting to go beyond complaints within the department or Accommodation Services.

Additionally, DHS has developed and published online a formal Accommodation Services Complaints and Feedback Procedure for use by our staff, to support the safety and well-being of the people we support. Anyone interested in the procedure is welcome to download it from the DHS website.

How to contact us

If you have any queries about your family member or friend, you can:

For now, we are also providing updates on the Family Update webpage.

If you know another family member or friend who would like to receive this e-newsletter, please encourage them sign up on the DHS website or phone 1800 952 962 (dial 3).

Alternatively, to discuss the Service Agreement further, you can speak directly with your Service Coordinator or contact us.

Phone 1800 952 962 (dial 3)
Email us at AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 6 May 2021

Consent for NDIS Certification Audit, second COVID-19 vaccination and Service Agreements

Please read on for more details on these key points:

  • Opting in or out now for auditors possibly consulting you in our process of becoming an NDIS Provider
  • Information about further consent requirements for second COVID-19 vaccine dose
  • Service Agreement follow up occurring for agreements not yet returned.

NDIS Certification Audit

During April 2021, Accommodation Services started the certification process in becoming a fully registered NDIS Provider by being assessed against the NDIS Practice Standards & Quality Indicators.

To date, Accommodation Services has continued to deliver services through an in-kind funding arrangement with the Commonwealth Government. Not as an NDIS provider. To continue providing services to your family member or friend in the future, we need to become a fully registered NDIS provider and therefore successfully completing this audit, is required.

The audit is undertaken in two stages. The first, a desktop process during April which successfully reviewed documents, platforms and processes. The second stage will see auditors visit our service, assessing the work that we do and how we do it throughout that week.

Auditors would like to speak with some of the people we support as well as their family members and guardians about their experiences of the service they receive. Additionally, they will be viewing documents that include information about your family member or friend.

Opting in or out

If you want to be involved in speaking with auditors, we would like to accommodate this, if we can.

Alternatively, if you do not want yourself, or the person we support, to be part of this audit process please advise in writing to the contact details below, by Tuesday, 18 May 2021.

Email accomfeedback@sa.gov.au
Write to: DHS Accommodation Services, GPO Box 292, Adelaide SA 5001

if you have not advised Accommodation Services by Tuesday, 18 May 2021 that you want to opt out, you will automatically be included in the scope of the audit and you may be asked to speak with auditors.

For further information about the certification audit or opting out process, please get in touch.

Phone 1800 952 962 (dial 3)
Email us at AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au

Second COVID-19 vaccination

During March and April 2021, the people we support received their first COVID-19 vaccination, subject to consent. Those in Mount Gambier have also received their second.

Changes in public health advice about COVID-19 vaccines, since that time, means that we need to confirm that your family member or friend:

  • did not have an adverse reaction to the first dose of the vaccine
  • is still consenting to the second dose, and
  • that consent is recorded on an Australian Government consent form, instead of the SA Health form used for the first vaccination.

Public health advice also states that the second vaccine given must be the same type as the first (that is, AstraZeneca or Pfizer).

If the vaccination process has not yet started for those:

  • 50 years or older, the AstraZeneca vaccination is the nominated vaccine and can be administered by the Accommodation Services vaccine clinic.
  • below the age of 50 years, the Pfizer vaccination is the nominated vaccine and will be administered through the SA Health delivered program.

A General Practitioner can only recommend a vaccination different to the SA Health nominated age group vaccine.

Accommodation Services will be administering the second doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination through our vaccination clinic in mid-June 2021 and staff will be in contact with you shortly, with further information and to begin the consent process.

Service Agreements update

Thank you to the families and guardians of NDIS participants we support, for your time in considering and consenting to Service Agreements.

Their introduction is an important part of the process for Accommodation Services becoming fully NDIS registered. Each time there is a significant change to your family member or friend’s NDIS Plan in the future, a new Service Agreement will be required.

If the consent process for your family member or friend’s Service Agreement has not yet been completed, please return the signed Agreement to your Service Coordinator.

Alternatively, to discuss the Service Agreement further, you can speak directly with your Service Coordinator or contact us.

Phone 1800 952 962 (dial 3)
Email us at AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au

Questions and feedback

If you have any questions or concerns relating to this matter, our dedicated phone service for families and guardians remains available.

Phone 1800 952 962 (dial 3)
Email us at AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au

For any other matters about your family member or friend’s needs, please continue to speak directly with your Service Coordinator.

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 22 April 2021

Welcome to another instalment of our Accommodation Services Family and Friends e-Newsletter.

Since the last edition in January, we have introduced Service Agreements across our service for NDIS participants.

Service Coordinators have been speaking with you about the importance of these documents and consent.

The Service Agreement rollout is a part of our work to allow Accommodation Services to be a sustainable service as an NDIS provider in the future and also a service of choice, placing the people we support at the centre of everything we do.

To date, we have continued to deliver Accommodation Services through a funding arrangement, called in-kind funding, with the Commonwealth Government. Not as an NDIS provider. The in-kind funding arrangement finishes on 30 June 2023 and we must be operating as a fully registered, compliant NDIS provider by this date, to continue providing services to your family member or friend.

The next step on our path to becoming an NDIS provider is undertaking the NDIS Practice Standards & Quality Indicators Certification Audit. In late April 2021, independent auditors will be reviewing documents, platforms and processes. Later in May 2021, the audit continues with auditors being in our service, assessing the work that we do and how we do it.

During this second stage of the audit, auditors will be speaking with the people we support as well as their family members and guardians, about their experiences of the service they receive. Further information as well as information to opt-out of participating in this audit and future audits, will be sent to you directly.

We will continue to keep you informed about each stage of the process to become a fully registered, compliant NDIS provider. This includes keeping you informed about associated projects that are shaping our service to be sustainable, into the future.

A review of client fees relating to meals, utilities, communal furniture and whitegoods and general household consumables is currently being undertaken and a consultation process with families to clarify and streamline these fees will begin in mid-2021.

Regardless of how your family member or friend receives funding for care and support, whether that be through the NDIS, MyAgedCare or Continuity of Support (CoS), Accommodation Services can continue to be their supported independent living service into the future.

Update on court appearance of disability worker

Following the arrest last year of former disability worker, Arjun Kandel, we committed to keeping you informed as new information becomes available. 

Today, Arjun Kandel appeared in court again and pled not guilty to sexual assault offences. The next court appearance has been scheduled in the District Court on 16 July 2021. 

While this continues to be a very difficult situation, our paramount concern is the safety of everyone we support, including your family member or friend. Any steps we take will always be about protecting their safety and wellbeing and ensuring that all possible safeguards are in place.

Sale of Highgate Park to benefit people living with disability

You may have heard in the news lately that after extensive consultation, Highgate Park, formerly known as the Julia Farr Centre, will be sold. Any proceeds from the sale will be used to help people living with disability, through the trust that owns the site. 

Many South Australians will fondly remember Highgate Park as their former home or workplace, so this sale is a significant and historic one for our community. 

The decision to sell Highgate Park was made following thorough and extensive independent community consultation with people living with disability and disability experts.  

Many of you were made aware of the consultation process and we would like to thank any of you who did participate for your valuable contributions. 

Anyone who is passionate about how any proceeds from the sale are spent by the trust are encouraged to express an interest in being part of the Trust working group. This working group will be formed to consider the future focus of the trust and provide advice to the Minister, as the sole trustee, during the sale process. 

JFA Purple Orange – the non-profit disability advocacy organisation which was formed out of Julia Farr Services - will facilitate the group, allowing people living with disability to have an authentic voice in how any proceeds from the sale should be spent.

Read more about the Highgate Park sale or complete an expression of interest

Update on traineeship recruitment

There has been an overwhelming response to Accommodation Services’ call for disability support trainees since it was announced by Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink in March 2021. 

To date, the recruitment drive has attracted more than 300 applications and the first 16 trainees chosen after a stringent evaluation process will start their training next week. 

The traineeships are being offered over the next two years under a South Australian Government Budget initiative, with a $9.5 million commitment to deliver 175 trainee disability services officers over two years across Adelaide, Mount Gambier and Kadina.  

This will create both an employment boost and increase in workforce availability at the end of the traineeships, assisting Accommodation Services to deliver more consistent support to people living with disability. 

Up to 85 roles will be filled in the first year of recruitment. More rounds to follow in 2022.

COVID-19 vaccination update

We are happy to report that all the people we support, who had provided their consent at the time, received their first COVID-19 vaccination during the months of March and April.  

Prior to the beginning of the vaccination clinics Accommodation Services staff have asked for consent for clients to have both COVID-19 vaccinations. We are now obliged to check that your family member did not have an adverse reaction to the first dose of the vaccine and are consenting to the second dose. Accommodation staff will be in contact with you shortly to undertake this consent process for the second COVID-19 vaccination. 

It is to be noted that no one showed any adverse reactions and we will continue as planned with administering the second dose. 

Mount Gambier Accommodation Services staff and the people they support have received their second vaccination. These were administered through the Limestone Coast Local Health Network at the Mount Gambier Hospital hub. 

The effort to get all our staff members vaccinated against COVID-19 is well under way with dedicated vaccination clinics at Highgate Park for our Adelaide Metro staff, as well as access to vaccination clinics at the Women’s and Children’s hospital. 

Throughout the coming months we will be rolling up our sleeves to help protect everyone we support as well as our wider communities in the pursuit of more normal community involvement, celebrations and travel since the pandemic began.

Complaint handling

The people we support in Accommodation Services as well as their families, friends and guardians, have several options through which to provide feedback and complaints.  

Details for anyone wanting to give specific feedback for Accommodation Services are on our complaints and feedback page. This also includes external reporting avenues if families and friends are wanting to go beyond complaints within the department or Accommodation Services.  

Additionally, DHS has developed and published online a formal Accommodation Services Complaints and Feedback Procedure (PDF 420.1 KB) for use by our staff, to support the safety and well-being of the people we support. Anyone interested in the procedure is welcome to download it.

Update on Restrictive Practices  policy changes

In January this year, DHS undertook a public consultation process about proposed changes to restrictive practice laws in South Australia.

A restrictive practice is any type of support or practice which limits the rights and/or movements of a person living with disability.

If you were able to participate in this important process, thank you for your time. Feedback received has helped inform the policy direction ahead of the bill Disability Inclusion (Restrictive Practices – NDIS) Amendment Bill 2021, being introduced to the South Australian Parliament.

The proposed changes aim to ensure restrictive practices – such as restraint and seclusion – are used only as a last resort and in accordance with individual behaviour support plans. Additionally, the bill proposes the creation of a new restrictive practices authorisation unit that will work with and educate NDIS providers.

The bill was introduced into Parliament on 4 March 2021, where it continues through the Parliamentary process. A summary of the process is also being kept up to date on our restrictive practices legislation web page.

People's Advocacy Group visits SA Parliament

The People’s Advocacy Group, an influential group consisting of NDIS participants supported within DHS Accommodation Services, had the opportunity in early February to tour South Australia’s Parliament House along with the Minister for Human Services.

The group was formed more than a year ago to allow the people we support to give feedback about how they, their friends and housemates are supported to live in their own group homes throughout the community.

Since experiencing the life-changing transition from institutional care to community living, group members have developed a common passion for improving the lives of people living with a disability and influencing their lives for the better.

Participants have since undertaken self-advocacy training, provided feedback on the development of a Customer Charter and influenced policies affecting the daily lives of more than 500 people with disability who are supported by Accommodation Services.

The tour of Parliament House was one of several get-togethers for the group during the first quarter of the year.

As well as exploring the iconic building and chambers where key decisions affecting South Australians are made, group members had an opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences with the Minister before enjoying light refreshments.

Questions and feedback

If you have any questions or concerns relating to this matter, our dedicated phone service for families and guardians remains available.

Phone 1800 952 962 (dial 3)
Email us at AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au

For any other matters about your family member or friend’s needs, please continue to speak directly with your Service Coordinator.

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 9 April 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations


Accommodation Services is providing an update on its rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations to the people we support.

This follows Federal Government acceptance of recommendations overnight that, in Australia, Pfizer is preferred over AstraZeneca for adults aged under 50 years who have not already received a vaccination.

The people we support in Adelaide and Kadina, who consented to a COVID-19 vaccination, have already received the AstraZeneca vaccine with no adverse reactions*.

Current vaccine rollout plans
In close consultation with SA Health, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has decided at this time that in keeping with new advice the people we support who have received their first dose of AstraZeneca without report of adverse reactions will be offered their second dose as planned from DHS.

New vaccine recommendations
The Australian Government has accepted recommendations following a review of the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The recommendations and reasoning are detailed in ATAGI’s statement about COVID-19 vaccines. At the current time, ATAGI recommends:

  • The Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine is preferred over AstraZeneca for adults aged under 50 years.
  • AstraZeneca vaccine can be used in adults aged under 50 years where the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that individual and who has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits.
  • People who have had the first dose of AstraZeneca without any serious adverse effects can be given the second dose, including adults under 50 years.

DHS will continue to monitor updates and keep you informed. If you would like to speak to anyone about an individual’s circumstances, please email AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au or phone 1800 952 962 (dial 3). The National Vaccine Helpline is also available on 1800 020 080.

*Mount Gamier families, please note that the people we support there were administered Pfizer’s (Comirnaty) vaccine from SA Health’s stocks at the local Mount Gambier Hospital vaccination hub.


Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 30 March 2021

COVID-19 Update – Greater Brisbane visitor restrictions

The South Australian Government has announced a hard border closure with restricted zones in Queensland, due to a number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Greater Brisbane.

This means that people who have been in a declared Queensland restricted zone in the past 14 days cannot visit South Australia’s disability care or residential aged care facilities for specific lengths of time.

You can find out more information about these restrictions with the latest Emergency Management (Cross Border Travel - General) (COVID-19) Direction and its Cross Border Travel – Associated Direction No 1 listing affected zones is available on the South Australian Government COVID website.

During this period, Accommodation Services staff will be asking all visitors to homes and Northgate Aged Care Facility about recent travel and whether that has included travelling from Queensland’s restricted zone.

Queensland restricted zone currently includes cities of Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Redland and the Moreton Bay Region.

South Australia’s COVID-19 travel restrictions web page may also be of interest along with latest information for travellers on the SA Health contact tracing page.

Questions and feedback

If you have any questions about accessing an Accommodation Services home or the Northgate Aged Care Facility, phone 1800 952 962 (and press 3).

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 24 March 2021

The recording of the online forum held on 19 March 2021 for families and guardians of the people we support in Accommodation Services is available on this page.

This follows information about the introduction of service agreements and the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Questions and feedback

If you have any questions or feedback, you can use the following options:

COVID-19 vaccinations

Speak with the Team Supervisor overseeing your family member or friend’s home or email DHSCOVID19Vac@sa.gov.au.

Service Agreements

Speak with your family member or friend’s Service Coordinator or phone 1800 952 962 (press 3).

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Accommodation Services online forum for family and friends – Friday 19 March 2021

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 5 March 2021

Last week we contacted Accommodation Services families about COVID-19 vaccinations and our introduction of Service Agreements this month.

A Family Forum was held on Monday 2 March 2021. You can view the recording of the Family Forum.

Update on COVID-19 vaccinations

Our vaccination roll out will start as soon as next week with details for various groups as follows:

A signed consent form is required to receive the vaccination.

You can find this consent form on this SA Health vaccination page. Team supervisors will be following up with families about these consent forms.

Our service is also asking GPs overseeing medical care of the people we support to advise if anyone should not receive the vaccine or if more information should be provided to those administering it. If concerns are raised, we will, of course, keep people informed.

Two doses of vaccine are needed to receive the best protection. Information about the second vaccine will be provided after the first vaccination. One consent form will cover both doses. You can read information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines from the Department of Health.

The COVID-19 vaccinations reduce the community’s risk of COVID-19 outbreaks and will help to reduce symptoms and side-effects of COVID-19 for anyone exposed.

We strongly encourage you to get vaccinated, as COVID-19 can cause serious ongoing health conditions, and sometimes death.

Vaccination is a safe and effective way of protecting you and your family.

SA Health information on COVID-19 vaccination

Questions about vaccinations

Please speak with the Team Supervisor overseeing your loved one’s home. If they are unable to assist they will find the best person who can.

Alternatively, you can email DHSCOVID19Vac@sa.gov.au. Thank you for your assistance.

Update on Service Agreements

NDIS participants have begun receiving individualised Service Agreement this week, either by email or mail, depending on the contact information you gave us. Within the next two weeks, Service Coordinators will be in contact to finalise these arrangements.

If you have any questions about the Service Agreement, please phone 1800 952 962 (press 3).

Next Family Forum

We know that there will be more information to provide you with about COVID-19 vaccinations and the introduction of Service Agreements, so as previously advised, we are holding a second online Family Forum in March 2021. We look forward to speaking with you.

Friday 19 March 2021 from 1.00 pm to 2.00 pm
Link: Zoom link – 19 March

You should have received your Passcode for this session by letter or email. If you do not have your Passcode, phone 1800 952 962 (press 3).

How to contact us

If you have any queries about your family member or friend, you can:

If you know another family member or friend who would like to receive this e-newsletter, please encourage them to sign up via the DHS website or phone 1800 952 962.

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Accommodation Services online forum for family and friends – Monday 2 March 2021

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Accommodation Services Family Forums – March 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations and consent

It’s likely you have heard a lot in the media recently about COVID-19 vaccines. The disability sector is being provided with priority access to vaccinations and the people we support in Accommodation Services will be some of the first people in our community to be offered vaccinations.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has been working with the Australian Government and SA Health, and will shortly be offering vaccinations to the people we support in Accommodation Services and our frontline staff.

Late March vaccinations will be offered to the people we support in Accommodation Services from SA Health approved sites – Highgate Park, Northgate Aged Care (for its residents only) and where a person cannot be moved from their home, at that home.

These vaccines will be administered by our own Registered Nurses who are undertaking specific training to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

Arrangements will be made for the people we support in Mount Gambier and Kadina through their Local Health Networks.

Consent by the people we support and/or their legal representative, will be required, before a vaccination can be delivered. We are yet to be informed which vaccine we will be supplied with.

You will be contacted by Accommodation Services shortly about the vaccination process and we have a few weeks to arrange consent for the vaccine to be administered to your loved one.

During this time more specific details will be compiled so we can share further information during an Accommodation Services Family Forum scheduled early March.

In the meantime, useful information is available on the SA Health COVID-19 Vaccine webpage, including:

You can phone the National Vaccine Helpline on 1800 020 080.

Service agreements

Accommodation Services will soon be introducing service agreements for the people we support, to continue to provide National Disability Insurance (NDIS) funded support services.

A service agreement is a required document under the NDIS and allows the person we support and yourself to have a clear understanding of what services and supports will be delivered, as well as detailing rights and responsibilities.

You may be familiar with service agreements, through other NDIS providers.

A sample Accommodation Services Service Agreement and sample Service Agreement Terms and Conditions document have been attached to this message, to provide you with an understanding of what to expect.

Individual service agreements are an important element of delivering a high quality, safe service for the people we support. They are being introduced in 2021 as Accommodation Services finalises its NDIS registration.

The service provided by Accommodation Services is not changing. Becoming an NDIS provider means we can continue to deliver our service to your family member or friend into the future.

Over the next few weeks, you will receive an individualised service agreement for you to consider and approve on your family member’s behalf. If required, you can contact your Service Coordinator to ask questions and explain the process to consent to the Service Agreement.

A new service agreement is needed with every NDIS plan. In future years, when a new NDIS plan is started, a new service agreement will accompany this document, streamlining the process.

If you have any questions about Service Agreements prior to the Family Forums, detailed below, you can phone us on 1800 952 962 (please press 3).

Client fees

As we have previously indicated we have a lot of fee arrangements for people we support in Accommodation Services. As part of moving to a NDIS provider we will be consulting with you mid-2021 on changes to our fee arrangements to have a consistent approach across the service and for all people we support.

The proposal will include two fee options that will need to be determined by each household and include:

  1. A set percentage of the disability support pension for all board arrangements covering things like food, utilities, communal furniture and whitegoods and general household consumables but excluding personal costs such as pharmaceuticals and clothing.
  2. A user pays where a person will purchase and pay for costs they expend, including contributing to communal items (for example, utilities, furniture and whitegoods). Many people in our service already use this option.

Further information about this will be provided in mid-2021, including a more detailed breakdown of inclusions and exclusions, for consultation with you.

Zoom meetings

Please join us in March for Family Forums via Zoom, to provide further information about COVID-19 vaccinations and the introduction of Service Agreements.

Tuesday 2 March 2021 from 9.00 am to 10.00 am
Zoom link – 2 March (your passcode for this session was sent to you by letter or email)

Friday 19 March 2021 from 1.00 pm to 2.00 pm
Zoom link – 19 March (your passcode for this session was sent to you by letter or email)

Lost your passcode? Email AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au

Recordings will be posted at here after each session. Email questions to AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au

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Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 29 January 2021

Welcome to our first Accommodation Services Family and Friends e-newsletter for 2021.

We hope you have had a relaxing and safe start to 2021. It is sure to be another busy year, and while we hope it is not as disrupted as 2020, we remain vigilant and ready to respond to any future coronavirus cases in South Australia.

In line with our continuous improvement approach, a key focus of service delivery in 2021 is embedding the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework (framework) into our daily practice.

We are building on our significant work during 2020 to finalise the NDIS registration of Accommodation Services, ensuring we continue to pursue high quality, safe services for the people we support. Bringing a consistency of practice across the service and having a zero tolerance to the abuse and neglect of people with disability are important aspects of delivering the framework.

Ultimately, we are working to provide your family member or friend with greater ability to exercise choice and control of their support and lives.

We will keep you informed as this work continues.

Update on court appearance of a disability worker

Following last September’s court appearance of a disability worker, we promised to keep you updated on developments.

The former worker appeared in court again on Wednesday (27 January 2021). He did not enter a plea to sexual assault offences. The next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday 21 April 2021.

DHS has offered support to those directly affected by this case. Our ongoing priority remains the safety and wellbeing of the people we support, including your family member or friend. We always take any allegation of misconduct extremely seriously and are committed to our Zero Tolerance to the Abuse and Neglect of People with Disability Strategy.

Questions or concerns

If you have any questions or concerns relating to this matter, our dedicated phone service for families and guardians remains available.

Phone 1800 952 962 (dial 3)
Email AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au

For any other matters about your family member or friend’s needs, please continue to speak directly with your Service Coordinator.

Zero tolerance

Accommodation Services has been busy implementing its Zero Tolerance to Abuse and Neglect of People with Disability Strategy (PDF 504.0 KB).

The Zero Tolerance initiative is built on an evidence-based framework that provides:

  • Understanding of organisations to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect and violence towards people with disability
  • Clear messages that abuse, neglect and violence is never acceptable and should never be ignored
  • A way of thinking about abuse as a human rights issue, not a disability issue
  • Organisational and personal commitment to act on anything that:
    • makes a person with disability be or feel unsafe.
    • doesn’t support a person’s human rights.
    • we could be doing better.

To date we have diligently updated all relevant policies and procedures to ensure we have appropriate systems in place to support the Zero Tolerance Strategy.

The education and training of staff at all levels has commenced and continues to develop understanding of our individual responsibilities in preventing and responding to abuse.

Service Agreements

The people we support, or their guardian, will soon have more clear information about the services we will deliver and their rights, as Accommodation Services introduces agreements for the services it delivers to each person. This is a requirement of the NDIS registration.

You will likely be aware of Service Agreements through arrangements with other NDIS providers who deliver additional services to your family member or friend. NDIS participants can choose who provides their services and supports before committing to these with signed agreements.

A Service Agreement is an important document that shows what services we agree to provide and makes sure the supports are delivered, as well as detailing rights and responsibilities. A new Service Agreement with NDIS providers is needed every plan. This helps include different things if needs change for the people we support.

Our Service Coordinators will be working with the people we support and their trusted representative to assist with the Service Agreement process. Our Service Coordinators can help finalise the Service Agreement if your family member or friend chooses to continue being supported by Accommodation Services.

Please speak directly to your family member’s or friend’s Service Coordinator if you have questions.

If your family member or friend is funded through a Continuity of Support (CoS) package, they will continue to be supported by Accommodation Services in the future.

Team Supervisor Training

Team Supervisors, who are now based in the homes of the people we support and oversee daily activities of Disability Services Officers, are undergoing a new training program co-ordinated by the Accommodation Services Training Unit.

The training covers a range of themes, including NDIS, human rights and zero tolerance, leadership styles and self-awareness, building effective teams and the art of communication.

Several sessions in December and January accommodated more than 60 participants for their first day of training. Day two of the training will be delivered shortly and more dates are anticipated for additional Team Supervisors throughout 2021.

Restrictive Practices

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has been consulting about draft legislative changes to ensure restrictive practices - such as restraint and seclusion - are used only as a last resort and in accordance with individual behaviour support plans.

Responses to consultation via the YourSAy website will inform the policy direction ahead of proposed laws being introduced to Parliament this year.

SACID Workshops

Parents and carers of people with intellectual disability are invited to register for a variety of workshops about relationships and protective behaviours, brought to you by the SA Council on Intellectual Disability (SACID).

They’re being held in February in Smithfield Plains. Bookings are essential.

Phone 8352 4416
Email admin@sacid.org.au.

NDIS consultation

The NDIS is inviting feedback about how it plans to improve access, planning and plan flexibility.

If you would like to have your say about the consultation papers it has released to try and make sure the NDIS works for everyone, you can visit the NDIS have your say web page to find more information. Feedback closes 23 February 2021.

How to contact us

If you have any queries about your family member or friend, you can:

If you know another family member or friend who would like to receive this e-newsletter, please encourage them to sign up via the DHS website or phone 1800 952 962.

More information

Further details about COVID-19 in South Australia are available online.

As always, you can contact us by phoning 1800 952 962 and press 3 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm excluding public holidays) or emailing AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au.

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Helpful information:

Australian Government Social Distancing Guidance (PDF 180.6 KB)

Australian Government Social Distancing Guidance (DOCX 144.7 KB)

Useful information / contacts

Australian Government

SA Health

Accommodation Services

NDIS

South Australian Government

  • South Australia COVID-19 Information Line: Phone 1800 253 787 (9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily)
Page last updated : 10 Sep 2021

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