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Information for families and friends of the people we support 29 October 2021

Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 29 October 2021

This month we have been working to ensure our service and workforce is prepared for the next stage of the State Government COVID-Ready Plan.

In particular, all staff have been advised of their requirement to be vaccinated when entering a healthcare setting and we are working with our staff to ensure this mandate is fulfilled.

Stage 2 of our NDIS Quality and Safeguarding audit begins on the 8th of November. This is the second of two audit stages required for Accommodation Services to become a fully registered NDIS provider. There will be one week of interviews with both staff and people supported by Accommodation Services, who have already been notified of their involvement.

We have recently welcomed David, Stuart and Veronica to our team of Area Managers. As you will see below, they each bring such valuable experience and knowledge to their roles, and we are very fortunate to have them as leaders in our service.

As always, please speak to your Service Coordinator or Team Leader if you have any questions. You can also contact us on 1800 952 962 (then dial 3) or via email

COVID-19 vaccination mandate

With border restrictions easing, it is increasingly important that we are each doing what we can to prevent the spread and severity of COVID-19. Last week, all Accommodation Services staff have been directed to receive their first dose of an approved vaccine by 1 November 2021.

We have made this direction in response to the State Government Health Direction, requiring anyone who carries out work in a health setting to be vaccinated. Whilst most of us do not work in a hospital or clinic, staff regularly enter health care settings in the course of their duties and will need to be vaccinated to do so.

We continue to place a high importance on the safety and care of the people we support. We are working diligently to ensure continuity of care for the people we support, throughout changing conditions.

We also encourage all family, friends and visitors to be vaccinated. High vaccination rates in the community help to protect those around us who may not be able to receive a vaccination.

Book a COVID-19 Vaccination | SA Health

Upcoming NDIS Audit Interviews

Accommodation Services is progressing steps towards Certification with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

Stage 2 of the audit will examine the effectiveness of our systems and processes to ensure we are able to meet the NDIS Practice Standards. This will take place from th 8th to the 12 of November. An external auditor will be interviewing people supported by Accommodation Services, as well as frontline staff and senior management.

Those who will be interviewed have already been informed. This involves 25 people supported by Accommodation Services and 30 staff members, across 14 locations.

If you would like any more information about the audit process, please see the contact details at the end of this email.

Client Fees Update

Thank you to everyone who participated in our August Family Forum sessions and made enquiries and provided feedback during the Client Fees Proposed Structure consultation process.

A number of queries were made about how electricity, gas and water expenses are paid for now and how this will be managed in the future. This is a component of the information DHS is working through to include in a final structure.

All information collected through the consultation period will now be assessed to inform the final structure. We know that these arrangements will take a number of months to finalise and we will keep families updated on progress of this work.

Welcome to our new Area Managers

Accommodation Services welcomes three new Area Managers to our team. We are very happy to have these experienced leaders on board.

Veronica Stanley - Area Manager, Playford and Kadina

Veronica has joined the Playford and Kadina team, with a background as a developmental educator and Social Worker with extensive experience in the disability service and ageing sectors. Most recently Veronica has been working in the Australian Government’s Home Support Program and has also previously worked for DHS in disability services.

David Berlin - Area Manager, Charles Sturt

David has some 11 years of experience in multiple client-facing and leadership positions in Accommodation Services. Striving to have a positive impact in the community and disability services sector, David has stepped into the role of Area Manager of Charles Sturt.

Stuart Smith - Area Manager, Marion

Stuart joins the Marion team after extensive experience in the not-for-profit disability services sector, not only in South Australia but metropolitan and regionally based positions in multiple states and territories. Stuart has a strong focus on providing equity of access to support services, particularly for vulnerable communities.

Accommodation Services supports Angela to feel safe and create her home

Last year was a difficult 12 months for Angela who experienced four different service providers prior to being admitted to hospital for an extended period. It was during this challenging period that Angela’s mental health deteriorated rapidly.

Having now transitioned to her own home, with support from Accommodation Services, Angela’s wellbeing and outlook has improved dramatically.

“It is the first time in five years that I feel safe and secure, valued and listened to, with a reason to live — I feel like a person again,” she said.

Angela has been able to make her house a home with colourful murals painted on the walls and doors in every direction.

Client Influencer Group meets new staff

During their recent meeting, our Client Influencer Group spoke at the Disability Services Officer Induction Training taking place in the room next door. They were able to explain the importance of their advocacy work to staff and hear about why this group of new staff wanted to work in Accommodation Services.

The Client Influencer Group has been a very successful model of engagement and advocacy to allow people we support to have a voice in the service they receive. Our service supports regional South Australians as well and we are looking at ways to expand the Client Influencer Group model so that more people we support can participate in the future.

Wayne also paid a visit to the new staff at the beginning and end of their Disability Dynamics training. He assisted Facilitator Janet and told the new recruits that his most important message was to talk to the people you are supporting. They are the ones who know what they want and need. Great advice Wayne!

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

Youngcare Home Support Grants

The Youngcare Home Support Grants provide essential funding to help people to either remain living at home with some more help, or to return to the community from inappropriate housing such as aged care.

Up to $20,000 is available in extreme situations for essential equipment, home modifications and services, household items and utilities to ensure an increase in the individual’s quality of life.

This grant aims to bridge the gap in essential services where there is clear evidence of need, or during the transitional period while individuals gain access to the NDIS.

Youngcare Home Support Grants

SACID Peer Action Crews

Peer Action Crews are a place for people with intellectual disability to come together for fun, friendship and to work on small community-based projects that work towards a more inclusive community.

All Crews are led by a Peer Action Leader with intellectual disability, supported by an SACID Project Officer. There’s plenty of activities to choose from, with a book crew, an action group, social catch ups and an online crew.

Peer Action Crews – South Australian Council on Intellectual Disability | SACID

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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Page last updated : 29 Oct 2021

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