Department of Human Services

Information for families and friends of the people we support 14 October 2020

Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 14 October 2020

Here is the latest issue of the Accommodation Services Family and Friends e-newsletter.

This e-newsletter provides news and updates about happenings in the service, with this issue featuring an update on our new Customer Charter, our ongoing response to COVID-19, and other matters.

If you are the family member, friend or guardian of a person we support in Accommodation Services and don’t currently receive this e-newsletter, please email AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au to sign up.

Introducing our new Customer Charter

We are proud to provide you with the new Accommodation Services Customer Charter. 

You can read the whole document, or the easy read summary poster which was informed by the Client Influencer Group.

Having a Customer Charter is a 'first' for the service, and outlines what the people we support and their families and guardians can expect around service delivery and consistency. In essence, it is about living up to our vision of 'Everything about you, with you' and our pursuit to be a high-quality, rights-based and person-centred service.

We have shared the Customer Charter extensively with our staff, and encourage you to read it and come back to us if you have any questions by phoning 1800 952 962 or emailing AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au.

COVID-19 response update

While some COVID-19 restrictions have eased in South Australia, our service remains vigilant to ensure the people we support and our staff stay safe and well.

There is still a strong focus on social distancing and good hand washing, sneeze and cough hygiene.

If you would like to visit your family or friends in their homes, please do so in small groups and adhere to social distancing. Do not go to the houses if you feel unwell or expect your family member or friend to visit you. All visitors to the houses must also complete the Accommodation Services visitor survey with staff at the door for tracing purposes.

Your Service Coordinator or Team Leader are here to help if you have any queries.

Family forums and house meetings

In light of social distancing challenges for larger groups posed by COVID-19, we will be continuing to hold Family and Friends Forums online for now.

These forums are a good way for us to share information about what is happening in the service and for you to ask us questions in real-time. The forums are also recorded and added to this webpage.

We intend to hold the next online forum within the next month and will provide details soon.

In-person meetings are also important, and we know that many of you are taking part in the house meetings that the Capacity Building Officers are facilitating in partnership with house staff. Please keep engaging this way if it suits you, as family and guardian input at initial house meetings has already proven to be valuable. The Capacity Building Team will continue to contact you about future meetings.

For more information about the house meetings, contact Team Leader, Capacity Building Tobias Olsson on tobias.olsson@sa.gov.au or 0434 924 740.

Welcome to new leaders

Accommodation Services welcomes two new key appointments to our leadership team. 

Our new Assistant Director, Accommodation Services is Mark Perry. Mark started with us in March and brings a wealth of experience working with vulnerable communities across not-for-profit and government. He is working closely particularly with our Area Managers to deliver enhanced services.

Also new is our Manager, Quality and Practice, David Healey who joins us after many years working with groups including people with disability and in the mental health space. David has a wonderful skills mix spanning complex case management, clinical supervision and cognitive behavioural therapy.

We are very excited to have Mark and David on board, and will talk more about both leaders and their roles at the next family forum.

Our service areas one year on

It has been nearly one year since we implemented a key part of our service re-shape.

On 25 November last year, we commenced a new structure in Accommodation Services to help bring us in line with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and introduce a more contemporary level of service.

This change saw service areas increase from five to seven, and new staff structures put in place to provide greater support to staff in the houses - in turn, helping to offer a better level of care to your family member or friend.

Overall, this is about delivering a wrap-around service where we put the people we support at the centre of all we do, living up to our service vision 'Everything about you, with you'.

Client Influencer Group update

The Client Influencer Group, or People's Advocacy Group, has had some recent 'wins'.

Members celebrated the group's first-year anniversary at a morning tea in September with Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink, and Muriel Kirkby.

Some members of the group also joined our executive management team at a recent workshop to share their personal accounts of what a day in the life of a person with disability is like. Members will also become mentors to our managers, helping them to better understand client perspectives when making decisions.

If you think your family member or friend would like to join the group, or even get involved in a meeting to see what it is about, please email AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au

Reminder: NDIS plan review changes

We recently wrote to you about some changes around scheduled National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan reviews.

To re-cap, the process for scheduled plan reviews for the people we support is changing. Key contacts like yourself will now receive a 'check in' phone call from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) about one month before the plan's expiry date, to check if you are happy with the current plan or if changes need to be made.

It is important that you are aware of the support needs of your family member or friend, and if changes are required to their NDIS plan. 

Your Service Coordinator will contact you in the lead-up to the plan review date so you can be prepared to receive the phone call from the NDIA. If you would prefer, you can direct the NDIA to your Service Coordinator instead.

If you have any questions, please contact your Service Coordinator. You can also phone us on 1800 952 962 or email AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au.

Information about equipment repairs

There will soon be changes to the way some clients’ mobility and support equipment is fixed or maintained.

Those we support who are National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants will no longer have their equipment repaired by the Domiciliary Equipment Service (DES). Instead, equipment repairs will be booked directly with other repairers.

As part of the changes, DES has also transferred ownership of equipment that NDIS participants currently hold to them for free.

These changes and alternative arrangements are being communicated to our staff and affected clients. We will also provide further information to affected clients' families and guardians over the coming weeks.

If you have any questions, please speak to your Service Coordinator. You can also find out more by visiting the DES website.

Have your say on Supported Independent Living

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has released a consultation paper to seek feedback on proposed improvements to Supported Independent Living (SIL).

The consultation paper and process, which is open until 19 October, will help address administrative and cost challenges to SIL, while making the first of many steps to create a greater focus on participant choice and control.

The NDIA is inviting a range of people, including those receiving SIL supports and their families, to make a submission. To do this, or for more information, visit the NDIA website.

How to contact us

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

  • contact your Service Coordinator or Team Leader
  • email us at AccomFeedback@sa.gov.au
  • phone us on 1800 952 962 (and then press 3)

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.

Page last updated : 14 Oct 2020

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