The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was introduced in Australia in 2013 to address the inadequacies of a fragmented and underfunded service system for people with disabilities. For young children with developmental disabilities, NDIS services fall under the early childhood early intervention (ECEI) approach, the impact of which is yet to be documented. Considering the critical role of families in supporting their children with a disability, the aim of the present study was therefore to examine their experiences of the ECEI approach in the State of Victoria. Seventeen parents participated in interviews and focus groups, which generated information clustered around five themes: (1) accessing the NDIS and the ECEI; (2) plan development and implementation; (3) choice and control; (4) family and community life; and (5) parental distress. While highlighting the potential of the NDIS funding and its long-term benefits, participating parents reported numerous challenges in their pursuit of supports under the ECEI. It is concluded that for the NDIS to fulfil its promise and potential, substantive revisions of its systems, policies and practices will be required to be relevant and sensitive to the needs of young children with developmental disabilities and their families.
SOURCE: Susana Gavidia-Payne. “Implementation of Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme: Experiences of Families of Young Children With Disabilities” Infants & Young Children, July/September 2020 – Volume 33 – Issue 3 – p 184-194.
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