This is the second instalment on our views on the Disability Royal Commission publication. Recently, in the first instalment, we had Dhanika and Brendon talking about 'employment' and 'education', two minor topics from the DRC. However, in this episode, Minh and Brendon brings it all back to the fundamentals of the DRC, and that is the abuse within the NDIS of participants, particularly 'group homes'. Brendon and Minh talk about examples of cases of different types of abuses, and the rorting of NDIS funds by unscrupulous providers, operating under the radar as 'unregistered' providers. Brendon also talks about how easy it is for independent support workers to approve their own NDIS Workers Screening Test, and the impact of this loophole without proper checks etc. Some of the topics discussed just brings everything back to how flawed this insurance scheme is, and how it is hoped that many changes will occur moving forwards because of the DRC 5 year investigation.
The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (DRC) has handed down its final 12 volume report with 222 recommendations. Here is one topic covered in the DRC:
Commissioners called on the NDIS Commission to prioritise the implementation of the Own Motion Inquiry into Aspects of Supported Accommodation – Action Plan. They also want it to include a review of mechanisms to transfer away from Supported Independent Living and Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) being delivered by the same provider, and actions that see disability providers implement models of practice, such as active support. They want to see an implementation plan with explicit timeframes and annual reporting on progress.
The DRC offers recommendations for establishing more inclusive housing options and wants to see NDIS funding models reformed to provide greater flexibility. It calls for pricing mechanisms that do not favour group home living over other models of inclusive housing. Commissioners Bennett, Galbally, McEwin, and Mason have also called for a comprehensive roadmap to phase out group homes within the next 15 years.
Commissioner Ryan suggests an alternative approach to phasing out group homes over time, starting by not approving SDA with 4 to 6 bedrooms. Ryan suggests that new NDIS participants should only be able to enter group homes as a last resort and that priority should be given to moving existing residents out of group homes into smaller groups over time. Ryan also suggests that annual progress and outcomes should be reported to the Disability Reform Ministerial Council.
Own Motion Inquiry - Supported Accomodation - Commissioner