A review of the National Disability Advocacy Framework is underway with a callout for submissions. The government wants people with disability, their family, friends and advocates to assist with forming development of the new Framework. The review is particularly relevant given the changing disability environment and the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Spinal Cord Injuries Australia advocacy officer, Tony Jones, told F2L it was timely that the government is reviewing the Framework. “There has been some concern by stakeholders of the future of funding. It is hoped that the outcome of the review will provide funding certainty to maintain vital advocacy services, especially as the NDIS evolves and takes shape.”
Disability advocacy is intended to give those with disability the opportunity to participate in decisions to ensure their rights are protected and promoted. Feedback from the review along with insights from recent NDIS consultations will be used to develop the new Framework that will also help to describe how advocacy will be provided in the NDIS environment.
National Disability Services (NDS) has made a case for some block funding in the NDIS. In June 2014, NDS issued a policy paper, stating that while individualised funding would improve choice and control for most participants, in some situations options could be limited and block funding may be required. Essential services, expertise and social capital would be lost in the transition to the NDIS unless governments and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) recognised the need for some ongoing block funding. NDS believed it was important not to lock people into poor service models and welcomed appropriate performance monitoring and quality assurance requirements in any block funding contracts.
The Department of Social Services is leading the Framework review on behalf of state and territory government, in consultation with advocacy agencies and other key stakeholders. The new Framework will be presented to the Disability Reform Council in December and released to the public in early 2016. Submissions must be received before July 24, 2015.
To make a submission and read the discussion paper visit: www.engage.dss.gov.au