NDIS Review Panel releases Final Report - Afea Care Services
December 8th 2023

Back in August, we wrote about the Interim Report from the NDIS review panel.

The review panel has now published their Final Report, “Working together to deliver the NDIS”. The report contains 26 recommendations and 139 actions.

Following are some of the Review’s recommendations. To read the full report, please visit their website.

Foundational supports for people with disability

The National Cabinet has reached a landmark agreement that will see the Commonwealth, states and territories funding foundational supports for people with disability outside of the NDIS.

NDIS Minister Bill Shorten has described it as “a day when the nation’s political systems worked.”

The way that you ultimately improve the NDIS is you look after people on the Scheme, and you make sure there’s support outside the Scheme. And we’ll do that together, it’s not about creating new bureaucracies, everything collaborative, working together.

NDIS Minister Bill Shorten

In their Final Report, the panel recommends two types of foundational supports:

General foundational supports, such as:

  • Assistance to navigate the support system, including the NDIS
  • Independent information and advice
  • Peer support and self advocacy
  • Disability employment supports

Targeted foundational supports, such as:

  • Home and community supports for people with less intensive support needs such as help with everyday activities like shopping and cleaning
  • Early supports for children and their families or targeted supports for adolescents.

Individual supports would be on top of these foundational supports, and funded through the NDIS. This includes:

  • Daily personal activities
  • Therapeutic supports
  • Home modifications
  • Assistive technology

Introducing Navigators

To quote the review panel:  

there are lots of different people to help navigate the NDIS and connect to services. These include Partners in the Community (Local Area Coordinators and Early Childhood Partners), support coordinators, specialist support coordinators, community connectors, plan managers and NDIA Health and Justice Liaison Officers. All of the different roles are confusing, access and quality are variable, and despite the number of roles, there are still gaps.

NDIS Review Panel

The panel recommends replacing these existing roles with the introduction of a new role, called navigators.

There would be two main types of navigators:

General navigators

  • connect people to mainstream and foundational supports
  • if in the NDIS, help you find and coordinate services
  • if you have an intellectual disability, help connect with supports for decision making

Specialist navigators would help participants with complex needs and particular groups of participants who need more support

The panel acknowledges that these are big changes that “need to be introduced slowly and carefully, and in close consultation with the disability community.”

Accessing the NDIS

The panel states that budget setting and planning are currently rolled up into one process.

They recommend breaking it up into clear separate steps, and giving people more help at every stage:

  • A new access request form with more help to complete it.
  • Access based on an assessment of the impact of the person’s disability.
  • A comprehensive needs assessment done by a qualified and skilled professional.
  • A budget is set based on the needs assessment; the panel highlights that “you should meet the person making the decisions about your funding.”
  • A navigator helps the individual create a plan on how to use their budget and find supports.

Support for children

As stated by DSC, support for children with disability, both inside and outside the NDIS, is an urgent government priority; hence, many of the panel’s recommendations have been introduced in October.

The panel recommends early intervention, specifically earlier checks and screenings to pick up developmental concerns and provide support as early as possible.

They also recommend providing families with a key contact, a ‘lead practitioner’ who can help coordinate supports, in addition to a navigator.

You can read more details here.

Support for people with psychosocial disability

The panel recommends:

  • Adding an early intervention pathway to support recovery as soon as possible.
  • Establishing a coordinated approach with public mental health systems.
  • Prioritising the development of foundational supports for people with psychosocial disability.
  • Establishing new standards for service providers.
  • Introducing psychosocial recovery navigators.

Housing and living supports

The panel recommends:

  • A “fair and consistent” budget setting process so that participants with similar levels of need and circumstances would get similar amounts of funding.
  • Most participants would receive funding based on sharing supports at a ratio of 1:3.
  • People who have complex support needs who would need to live alone (not in a share home) would get a higher level of funding.
  • The panel recommends more innovative and inclusive housing solutions: “Outdated group homes still dominate the system and, despite pockets of innovation, service models appear relatively unchanged – leaving participants with little choice.”

To read the full version of the Final Report and access more resources, please visit their website.

Sources:

Our Final Report: A guide for people with disability and their families 2023

Breaking: Summary of the NDIS Review’s major recommendations

Minister Shorten’s Address to the National Press Club Q&A – Release of the NDIS Review

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