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DISCUSSION PAPER 2014: CROSS SECTOR SERVICE COORDINATION for people with high and complex needs: Harnessing existing evidence and knowledge

People with high and complex needs will generally need an array of supports to enable social and economic participation as envisaged by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). As participants, these people will receive funding from the NDIS to purchase services and supports from a range of different disability sector providers, but will also need to access various 'mainstream’ services including health, education, housing, justice and transport in order to pursue the life they choose. The complexity of the services system, and the interfaces between sectors, create gaps and barriers that are challenging for participants, service providers and for policy makers alike to navigate.

Cross-sector coordination is a critical scheme design element to ensure that NDIS participants get the range of services and supports they need to pursue their goals and participate in society and the economy. Any failure of other sectors to provide access to quality services will increase the costs of disability support and risk the sustainability of the NDIS. Coordination can thus also be seen as a way of addressing this fundamental risk facing the NDIS. For these reasons cross-sector coordination should be a core element in NDIS design. The disability field is actively discussing these challenges and this paper aims to provide evidence to inform policy directions now being developed.

POLICY BULLETIN 2, 2013: TRANSITION TO RETIREMENT

This Policy Bulletin describes the implementation and evaluation of the Transition to Retirement (TTR) Program that was examined in a three-year collaborative program of applied research involving university researchers and disability service providers. The Bulletin ends with recommendations for policy and practice based on our research findings and on the practical experience of delivering the program.
The TTR Program offered older people with disability the opportunity to begin to build a retirement lifestyle by joining a general community group for one day a week instead of working on that day. Thus, the program fulfils an important goal of disability policy: the social inclusion of people with disability in Australian community life.

The program involved:

  • talking to people with disability about retirement,
  • investigating their interests,
  • finding an appropriate community group for individuals to join,
  • seeking and then training mentors from that group, and
  • ensuring the people with disability were actively involved so they could contribute to the group.

POLICY BULLETIN 1, 2013: LEFT BEHIND 2013: Monitoring the social inclusion of young Australians with self reported long term health conditions, impairments or disabilities 2001-2011

Disabled Australian adolescents and young adults are more likely to experience social exclusion than their non-disabled peers. The gap between the two actually widened between 2001 and 2011.

Social exclusion in adolescence leads to poor outcomes, such as lower educational achievement and unemployment, in adulthood. It affects not only the health and wellbeing of the individual; it also impacts on their family and the wider community. The inability of people with disabilities to participate socially and economically is a loss to the whole of society.

This report maps the extent of social inclusion or exclusion of young disabled Australians, aged between 15 and 29, over the years 2001 to 2011. It found that although the social inclusion of young disabled Australians increased on a number of key indicators, the gap between disabled and non-disabled young Australians actually increased over the 11 year period.

On 13 key indicators of social inclusion including employment, living in a jobless household, having support from family or friends in times of crisis and feeling safe, young disabled Australians are now more disadvantaged compared to their non-disabled peers than they were in 2001.