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Information for families and friends of the people we support Friday 23 December 2022

Information for families and friends of the people we support

Update as at 23 December 2022

Here’s to a fabulous festive season and a happy new year

It was great to be able to meet with clients, family members and friends at the recent End-of-Year Celebration events – held at accessible outdoor spaces in Park Holme in Adelaide’s south, Golden Grove in Adelaide’s north-east and in Mount Gambier.

We celebrated with over 330 guests across the three events , enjoying some warm weather and being able to come together in large groups for the first time this this way, since COVID-19 restrictions were first introduced.

On Saturday, 3 December 2022 our service celebrated International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD). This important day aims to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance of people living with disability and to celebrate the contributions they add to the community.

It was great to be able to celebrate IDPwD and the contributions that people across our service’s community make to bring about awareness and inclusion of people living with disability, in the wider Australian community.

We are continuing to work on a number of changes to the way we do things so we can continue working with South Australians living with disability, long into the future, as a fully operational, NDIS service provider.

There is further information about the changes we are going through in this newsletter and we look forward to working closely with you in 2023, as we finalise our NDIS arrangements.

In the meantime, we hope you have a fabulous festive season and New Year.

NDIS Plan Reviews/ Plan Reassessments

One of the changes our service is working towards is the way that DHS Disability Services is funded to deliver support to your friend or relative. From 2013, State and non-government organisations commenced changing how they provide services to people with disability as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was rolled out across Australia. This has required changes to be made within many businesses and services regarding what support is provided, how it is provided and how it is funded.

For DHS Disability Services to be available to provide supports and services to clients, we have to be part of this change, and adapt our service to be able to continue to support the needs of adults with disability in South Australia.

By delivering services as an NDIS provider, we will be claiming funds for the different services we deliver, based on individual NDIS Plans. This is different to what has previously occurred.

It is important that each NDIS Plan truly represents the supports that your friend or relative needs to live an active and fulfilling life. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) make the plan support decisions about the level of funding that is approved in each NDIS Plan. We want to work with you to assist NDIA to understand what your friend or relative needs, to have those supports considered for inclusion in their new NDIS Plan.

If consent has been provided to DHS to share information with the NDIA for the purpose of progressing NDIS planning, we are gathering information about client support needs to provide to the NDIA to assist in this process.

When NDIS are receiving information about your family member or friend’s supported independent living (SIL) needs, in many cases they will make a decision regarding the SIL and Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) supports. This may indicate what type of SDA you or your family member or friend is eligible for.

More information about SDA can be found on the NIDS website - Specialist Disability Accommodation explained (NDIS)

You may have already heard from the NDIA or a Support Coordinator about this process. No immediate changes will occur and there is plenty of time to raise questions and receive answers as well all go through this process together.

If you have any questions about this change or clarification about information you have received from the NDIA about NDIS Plan Reviews or outcomes, please email dhsdisabilityservices@sa.gov.au or call 1800 952 962 (and press 3).

We will respond to all questions from clients, families and friends in January and provide support to our community throughout this period of change to assist you to understand the information and feel comfortable.

Functional Capacity Assessments – consent to share information

A Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA) is an assessment of a person’s capacity or ability to perform daily activities in and around the home and the community.  The assessment commonly takes place in a client’s home and it identifies their needs and support requirements. The FCA indicates the supports the person will need to receive in their NDIS Plan to enable them to live a fulfilling life and reach their potential.

If an FCA is required, DHS Disability Services are working with several different Occupational Therapists, who are independent of DHS Disability Services to undertake these assessments. If this is needed and you haven’t already provided consent, a DHS Disability Services team member will be in contact with you to get consent so we can share client information for the assessment to be completed.

2023 DHS Disability Services Forum Schedule

We are excited to be expanding our forums with you next year. You will have the opportunity to participate in webinar style and in-person DHS Disability Services Forums each month for the first half of 2023. These forums provide an opportunity to meet with senior DHS Disability Services leaders, including our two recently started Directors, Sarah White and Julie Rogers. It also provides further opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback about the changes that are happening in the service. We will also seek to have NDIA representation at some forums, so you can ask specific NDIS questions too.

Please see the schedule of forums below. Dates and links for webinars and dates and venues for in-person events will be provided in early 2023.

19 January 2023, Webinar from 2.00 pm to 3.00 pm
Topic: DHS Disability Services Forum

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85306746571?pwd=anlsY3VnM3FQeXl3M3VieUpUYUJOZz09 (opens in a new window)

Meeting ID: 853 0674 6571
Passcode: (Please call 1800 952 962 (and press 3) for the passcode to be supplied to you)

Systems updates

We are continuing to invest in technology upgrades that help us to deliver a modern and high-quality service. We have recently introduced a new app that allows staff to manage their roster, clock in and out, and pick up extra shifts that align with their skillset. This also gives our managers greater visibility over rostering patterns and any shifts that need to be filled. This app will ultimately help us to reduce our reliance on agency staff, with more consistency in each home.

In 2023 we will be introducing a new system for managing client information. At the moment, we have a lot of paper-based processes in houses that will need to be digitised as we transition to the NDIS. The new system will mean a great improvement to the consistency of documentation across the service. It also means that support staff will have greater access to the information they need to provide personalised supports.

We will continue to provide more information about how these systems are progressing, through our 2023 Forums with families and decision-makers.

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 the DHS website or phone 1800 952 962.

How to provide service feedback or make a complaint

There are a number of ways you can provide feedback or make a complaint about the service received at DHS Disability Services.

You can:

You can also contact authorities, independent of DHS. Please visit DHS - Complaints and feedback for more information.

Page last updated : 12 Jan 2023

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