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Information for families and friends of the people we support 19 July 2021

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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Page last updated : 30 Sep 2021

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