Making the NDIS Work for Young People in Aged Care – ProBono Australia

Young people in aged care are struggling to get onto the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Commonwealth and state governments, as well as the NDIA, need to take action, writes Luke Bo’sher from the Summer Foundation.

Extract

There are over 6,000 young people in aged care waiting to get onto the NDIS. These young people are living in aged care facilities because the current disability system has failed them.

The NDIS is Australia’s opportunity to turn around the systemic failure of an unfunded and broken disability system. Governments have committed an extra $11 billion per annum to the NDIS to fix this problem.

But the early rollout of the NDIS is showing that there are enormous challenges in making the system work for people with complex needs. The first part we need to get right is making sure that people with disability are getting onto the NDIS. And this is not working well for many young people living in aged care.

The Summer Foundation has reached out to young people in aged care and connected one in three of all young people in aged care who made it onto the NDIS in the trial sites. This work highlighted the barriers for young people in aged care to get onto the NDIS.

The NDIS is a team effort between governments. Fixing the access pathways for young people in aged care requires the Commonwealth and state governments, as well as the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), to review what is and is not working and take action.

There are five areas where governments could take action to ensure the NDIS rollout works much better for young people living in aged care. This would transform the lives of young people living in aged care.

We need to focus on getting young people in aged care onto the NDIS as quickly as possible.

The promise of leaving an aged care facility is, unfortunately, a long way away for many young people in aged care, often taking 18 to 36 months from when the person gets into the NDIS.

COAG’s Younger People in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) initiative demonstrated the complexity of working out what their preferred housing option would be outside an aged care facility.

The first 12 months on the NDIS is often a time for participants to work out their housing goals and identify appropriate community options.

It can then take up to two years for a housing provider to build the required housing. This makes for a three year journey from getting onto the NDIS to leaving aged care for many young people.

SOURCE: Bo’sher, Luke. “Making the NDIS Work for Young People in Aged Care – Summer Foundation

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