NDIS trial FAQs
After years of campaigning and lobbying, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is now reaching its final stages of trial implementation.
The scheme will have far-reaching positive changes for people with disability, with disability service providers required to make great adaptations. For this reason, the NDIS will be tested in sites across South Australia, Tasmania, ACT and parts of NSW, as agreed by the Council of Australian Governments in July 2012.
With the first stage of the trial commencing in just a few months, many users of disability services have questions, some of which may be answered below (FAQs supplied by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion):
When will the first stage of the NDIS begin and who will it include?
The first stage will be phased in over three years from 1 July 2013. The first year will not affect the majority of Cara clients, covering eligible children from birth to five-years-old.
The second year will cover children up to 13 years old, both existing clients and new referrals, and the third year up to 14 years old.
Who is eligible for the first stage of the NDIS?
All children who meet the age criteria above who already receive disability services from state government or non-government providers will not be disadvantaged.
All newly eligible children (birth to 14 years) referred to the NDIS launch will require an assessment of need, and an individual plan developed with a personal budget.
What services will children receive?
Children will continue receiving the services they are already familiar with, e.g. speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, respite services and developmental services.
However, a key objective of the first stage of the NDIS launch is to develop increased flexibility and innovation, so many people will be able to access different types of support.
Who will be responsible for managing the NDIS children’s launch?
The launch scheme will be set up under the Commonwealth legislation. A national transition agency will be set up to manage the scheme. The agency’s primary focus will be operational policy and development of systems and processes to enable launch.
How will it work in regional or remote areas?
The launch will ensure that regardless of where a child lives, they can access the NDIS.
How will the children’s launch in South Australia be funded?
The launch will be jointly funded by the State and Commonwealth Governments. The South
Australian Government has committed $20 million over three years (from 1 July 2013) for support packages for children in the launch.
The Commonwealth Government’s funding contribution is currently estimated to be around $80 million over three years for the launch in South Australia.
Calling Volunteer Advocates for vulnerable children
The Volunteer Advocates for the Most Vulnerable Children project is funded by the federal government's Practical Design Fund.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme for children assumes that each child has a supportive family to make decisions on their behalf and act in their best interest. Some children do not have a relative or unpaid person in their life who can confidently represent their needs; hence may be disadvantaged by this system.
The aim of this program is to assist people with a disability, their families and carers and the disability sector to get ready for the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme).
Through the Volunteer Advocates for the Most Vulnerable Children program, Cara will recruit and train families of children with disability as volunteer advocates for children who do not have a family member to advocate on their behalf, or to support families who identify they would benefit from such support.
What is involved in being a Volunteer Advocate?
Volunteer Advocates will :
- Help children, carers and families to think through decisions and focus on constructive pathways and positive outcomes;
- Listen to, and be a sounding board for the children, carers and families goals and challenges; and
- Share relevant examples of life experiences and empathise and encourage children, carers and families
To be a Volunteer Advocate, you will:
- Be willing to volunteer your time to support others;
- Have experience and knowledge of caring for a child with a disability; and
- Have good listening and communication skills
Volunteer Advocates will receive training and ongoing support in their role.
Who can receive support from a Volunteer Advocate?
- Children under the guardianship of the Minister who must:
- Be under the age of 18;
- Be eligible for the NDIS, once it is introduced; and
- Have no nominated personal to provide assistance and support for them to be heard and have their needs met.
Families of children who are:
- Under the age of 18;
- Eligible for the NDIS, once it is introduced; and
- Who don't feel comfortable in speaking up on behalf of their child.
What to do if you are interested in having a child or family supported by a Volunteer Advocate?
Download an expression of interest form for children under the guardianship of the minister and families.
To apply or for enquiries, contact:
Ashleigh Wilby, Program Coordinator Program
p: (08) 8347 4588
f: (08) 8347 4508
a: PO Box 237, Woodville SA 5011
Watch Fringe comedy show & support Cara
Enjoy a memorable, unique and hilarious night at the Fringe and raise funds for Cara.
Over the last seven years, Titters! has become one of the Adelaide Fringe Festivals "must see" events!
Host Sheridan Stewart (Triple M/SAFM, success Secrets of Confident Women) presents seven of the world's leading ladies of comedy including stand-up, cabaret and a hint of burlesque - a two hour showcase offering THE best value show this Fringe!
Tickets cost $25 per person with $5 donated to Cara - Minimum Group of 6 (Regular Price is $28 pp)
Fri 8 & 15 March
7pm - 9pm (bar open from 6.30pm for pre-show drinks)
Arkaba Top of the Ark, Glen Osmond Rd
For enquiries call 0411 509 119 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
New Cara charity ad campaign crosses to radio
After receiving widespread exposure and positive feedback, Cara's 'Break the Cycle' television commercial has been adapted as a radio ad.
The radio charity commercial, featuring the voiceover of Michael Caton, will be aired on Mix 102.3 during February and March and will highlight the needs of families living with disability to an even wider audience.
The TV commercial, based on the lives of Ian, Helen and Karyn Thomas, first aired on Channel 9, Gem and Go! in November 2012, and received mentions in the media for its effect of drawing attention to the plight of ageing carers.
Listen to the radio commercial below or watch the TV commercial:
You need Adobe Flash to listen to this audio file.
NDIS Community forums
The National Disability Insurance Scheme Launch Transition Agency in South Australia is holding a series of Community Forums across the state.
Date: 20 February 2013
Time: 7.00pm – 9.00pm
Venue: Domain Room, Marion Cultural Centre, 287 Diagonal Road, Oaklands Park
Date: 18 February 2013
Time: 7.00pm – 9.00pm
Venue: John Harvey Gallery, 12 James Street, Salisbury
Date: 19 February 2013
Time: 7.00pm – 9.00pm
Venue: Lakes Resort, 17 Lake Terrace West, Mount Gambier
Date: 21 Fenruary 2013
Time: 4.30pm – 6.30pm
Venue: Flinders Room, Port Lincoln Hotel, 1 Lincoln Highway, Port Lincoln
RSVP to all events: contact Voola Varvounis on 08 8318 2108
Accessibility assistance such as hearing loops, live captioning or AUSLAN interpreters can be made available at these events. Please contact 08 8318 2108 prior to the event if you require an interpreter or any other supports.
The Garden of Unearthly Delights - accessible events
Adelaide Fringe Festival icon, the Garden of Unearthly Delights supports the Companion Card program where cardholders are entitled to bring a companion or carer to events free of charge.
Further increasing accessibility at the Festival in 2013 there are four AUSLAN interpreted events, supported by Arts SA and AUSLAN interpreters and coordinated by Communication Republic.
These events are:
- Kids Comedy Gala – 1.00pm Saturday, 23 February
- Ponydance – Anybody Waitin’? – 10.00pm Saturday, 2 March
- Tom Gleeson – 7.45pm Saturday, 9 March
- La Soiree – 10.15pm, Saturday 16 March
Please see the program for more information.
Please be aware that physical access to the parklands offers some challenges similarly some of the venues are antique wooden theatres which are unable to be modified. There are accessible toilets available and designated accessible parking nearby.
Wheelchair accessible venues include:
- The Deluxe
- Umbrella Revolution
- La Cascadeur
- Paradiso Spiegeltent
- The Vagabond, and
- The Big Top
Please note that The Spare Room is not wheelchair accessible.
For more information about accessing the Garden of Unearthly Delights:
Phone: 08 7200 3867
TTY Users: 133 677 then ask for 08 7200 3867
Speak and Listen Users: 1300 555 727 then ask for 08 7200 3867
Internet Relay Users: www.iprelay.com.au/call/index.aspx then ask for 08 7200 3867
Large print versions of programs available.
Extreme heat health tips
South Australia is currently experiencing a period of extreme heat which can lead to serious health illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
It is very important for everyone to know what the effects of extreme heat are, who is at risk and what to do to prepare for and cope during times of extreme heat.
People with disability are more vulnerable to extreme heat, and carers and supporters need to be super vigilant during these times.
The SA Health Extreme Heat webpage contains useful information on the symptoms of heat illnesses and tips on how to keep cool during extreme heat periods.
Championing Person Centredness at Cara
Earlier in 2012, Cara put out the call for people to champion the cause of person centredness – to ensure that the people living with disability who Cara supports are given voice, choice and control of their lives and provided the support to live the life that each individual desires.
Staff members, clients and family members were invited to undergo training in the philosophy of person centredness, how to create person centred plans, and then how to pass this knowledge on to the rest of the organisation.
What resulted is an exceptional group of 25 people, including two clients and two family members, who are full of energy, enthusiasm and excitement to make Cara a fully person centred organisation, which is also an integral part of Cara’s 2012-2015 strategic plan.
“Cara is definitely at the forefront of person centredness training in the disability sector,” says Professor Patricia O’Brien, Director of Disability Studies at Sydney University.
“The 25 champions who put their hands up are a very knowledgeable and keen group of people who’ve been a pleasure to work with,” says Patricia, who is the trainer in the person centred programme.
The champions completed their initial training in November and will present their learnings to the Cara executive team who will refine and adapt the developments to roll out across the organisation in 2013.
Active Support Research focuses on integration
The Active Support programme and philosophy has made great strides in improving the independence and participation of people living with disability. However, there is still improvement to be made in the area of community inclusion and connection.
Active Support is a person-centred approach to support people living with disability, enabling choice and participation in everyday activities. The process involves staff working with people living with disability to develop daily activity, support and opportunity plans so that they are not doing things for people, but working with them to take part in all the activities of everyday life.
These practices provide the support philosophy at Cara services in providing everyday care. Yet the formation of true connections between people living with disability and the wider community has been one of the greatest challenges.
“Whilst the model of Active Support has been formally implemented for several years, data collected is clearly indicating that there has been little impact and increase on people being connected and included into the life and fabric of their communities.
Along with this, people’s lives are often characterised by having few reciprocal relationships with other people, often other than people that are paid to be in their lives.”
These are the thoughts of Tania Smitham, who has been primarily responsible for the development of the model of Person Centred Active Support for Disability Services at the Department of Community and Social Inclusion.
Tania is currently pursuing her PHD at Flinders University, with assistance from Cara’s Nita Curtis Scholarship, by focusing her research on Active Support strategies that encourage the development of social networks and friendships.
“The aim of this research is to investigate and identify clear strategies and ways to support people living with disability and their families to strengthen their connections and develop meaningful relationships with other people,” says Tania.
Cara is proud to support Tania in this vital research programme and looks forward to her results and recommendations.
More play at Cara
The Morialta Trust has elected to grant $5,000 to support funding of Cara’s Play and Recreation Project for children’s services.
The project will foster a fun, interactive and positive learning environment in children’s services that will support the growth and development of children with a range of disabilities. The project will include a training program run in partnership with TAFE; specialised dance and movement therapy sessions; a regular schedule of educational activities; and ongoing practical Skills Trainer support.
Cara receives federal funding to prepare for NDIS
Cara’s new Volunteer Advocates for the Most Vulnerable Children project is one of only 73 projects across the country to receive funding from the federal government’s Practical Design Fund.
The Practical Design Fund identifies practical solutions and innovative approaches to assist people with disability, their families and carers and the disability sector to get ready for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
“An essential part of getting the change [to the NDIS] right is to have practical strategies that will work in the real world and that’s what these projects will help us do,” says Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin.
Cara’s Volunteer Advocates for the Most Vulnerable Children project will recruit and train families of children with disability as volunteer advocates for children who do not have a family member to advocate on their behalf, or to support families who identify they would benefit from such support.
“We are thrilled to receive this funding because we are becoming increasingly aware of how essential it is for all children with disability to have their own advocates in life,” says Cara chief executive, Denice Wharldall.
“We recently expanded our client base to include children and young people under the Guardianship of the Minister, or children whose families are struggling to support them in their own homes, and we want to ensure these children are afforded all the opportunities and support they need to live full lives.”
Cara has been allocated $47,882 and will commence the project in 2013.
Click here if you would like to find out more about applying to become a volunteer advocate, or receive support from an advocate.
Family Movie Matinee - The Rise of the Guardians
Come along to see the funniest family Christmas movie of the season and raise funds for Cara.
When an evil spirit tries to take over the world, the immortal Guardians (Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman and Jack Frost) must join forces to protect the beliefs and imagination of children all over the world. This DreamWorks animation features the voices of Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman and Jude Law.
Sunday 16 December (first Sunday of school holidays)
Wallis Piccadilly Cinema, North Adelaide
For more fun, come dressed up as your favourite Christmas character.
Reserve your seats by emailing email@example.com or calling (08) 8243 5055.
Tickets to be purchased at the cinema.
Remember to use your Take 9 Movie card and save money on the ticket price.
Behind the scenes of Cara's new charity commercials
The Thomas and Cheesman families, who both receive respite services from Cara, are spreading Cara’s important message about the everyday support needed by families living with disability in two new Cara charity commercials screened on Channel 9, GO! and Gem.
The commercials were filmed in the families’ homes in October 2012 by local film production company, Red Bikini. Cara is extremely fortunate and thankful that both the Thomas’ and the Cheesman’s offered to share their story of ongoing courage and compassion with audiences to help raise vital funds for Cara’s cause and work.
Ian and Helen Thomas have provided for Karyn’s needs every day of Karyn’s life. Retired now, the couple are only able to take a break outside of this daily routine, go on holiday, or attend to life’s commitments when Karyn is supported through one of Cara’s respite services.
“We don’t have any family living in Adelaide, so the support Cara has provided us has been invaluable,” said Helen. “We are very happy to tell our story if it will help Cara, because they’ve done so much for us for so many years.”
The charity commercial of the Thomas family, featuring the voice of iconic Australian actor, Michael Caton, aired in November 2012, and again in February and March 2013, gaining community-wide recognition. This included a feature in the Advertiser about the need for more support for senior carers.
To gather the necessary footage, the film crew arrived at Karyn, Ian and Helen’s home at 5am on a cool October morning.
Not every day do you have to share your early morning routine and bedroom with a film crew of six; however Karyn thoroughly enjoyed the experience, according to her mum, Helen. “After the crew had finished filming and left the room to begin setting up for the next scene, Karyn wanted everyone to come back,” laughed Helen.
A series of shots was filmed depicting the actual morning routine including getting out of bed, being lifted into a wheelchair and having breakfast.
The film crew did not get much of a break, as filming of the second commercial featuring the Cheesman family, due to air in May 2013, took place the following day at their home in Mawson Lakes. The shots 18-year-old Ed and his father Kevin in everyday routines, with Ed’s older brother Shane in support.
“We were more than happy to have the film crew in our home if it helps Cara,” says Kevin. “Ed has been attending Cara’s camps for years, which is essential for me because I work full-time and cannot look after Ed during school holidays.”
“After a script that was sensitively worked through, two full days of filming and weeks of editing, the message is clear and accurately depicts the challenges families living with disability face on a daily basis,” said Cara chief executive, Denice Wharldall.
“We hope that this charity message will help Cara raise funds to assist more families like the Thomas’s and the Cheesman’s. We also hope it will generate a wider awareness in the community of the everyday challenges for families living with disability.”
“After a script that was sensitively worked through, a full day of filming and weeks of editing, the message is clear and accurately depicts the challenges families living with disability face on a daily basis” said Cara chief executive, Denice Wharldall.
“We hope that this charity message will help Cara raise funds to assist more families like Karyn, Ian and Helen’s. We also hope it will generate a wider awareness in the community of the everyday challenges for families living with disability.”
Watch out for the new charity TV ad yourself in the coming months on Channel 9, Go! and Gem, or watch the new charity TV ad here.
AGM 2012 - achievements and farewells
Cara’s 2012 Annual General Meeting, held on 22 October, had a full agenda with acknowledgements of the year’s achievements, announcements and significant progressions.
The President’s, CEO’s and Secretary’s reports all highlighted that the 2011/2012 financial year was a year of significant growth for Cara – in both capacity and revenue.
A major function of the 2012 AGM was to receive member approval on the changes to the Cara Constitution – the last time the Constitution was reviewed was Cara’s inception in 1995. These amendments go far in modernising the Constitution in line with current standards.
The Cara board members appointed during the year were welcomed on the night, Dianne Cleland, Steve Larkin, Elizabeth Blake and Carolyn Astley.
This warm welcome was coupled with the sad farewell to two significant board members, Max Beacom and Linda Knock. Max retires after five years on the board, with three years as President, and has been an instrumental and courageous leader during his term. Linda is the last of Cara’s inaugural board members, whose magnificent service on the board spans over 17 years.
There were more celebrations with the bestowing of two lifetime memberships – one to retiring long-serving board member, Linda Knock, and another to former Cara CEO, Greg Box.
The 2012 Edna Redman Award, for excellent service by a community support worker, was presented to Sasagorn Boonmepipit for her impressive work in a Cara accommodation service, and willingness to go beyond the call of duty – such as assisting Cara’s Thai visitors on their learning exchange.
NDIS DisabiliTea 2012
Dozens of Cara clients, staff and supporters gathered to share a cuppa, and spread awareness of the continuing Every Australian Counts campaign.
"Even though the NDIS has received approval from all state governments, with South Australia chosen as a test site from 2013, we need government to assign even more funds and resources for it to become beneficial scheme for all people with disability," says Cara CEO, Denice Wharldall.
Cara keeps growing
As long as there are still people with a disability and their family members in need of essential accommodation and respite services, Cara will continue to expand its capacity of support.
This is the message from Cara’s CEO, Denice Wharldall, who has watched Cara’s services grow dramatically in the last year.
Since the beginning of 2012, new accommodation services have opened in Ingle Farm and Munno Para, assisting an additional 13 people in desperate need of accommodation. An adult respite service has been secured in north-east Adelaide, with a young adult’s farm stay respite service to be built in Mount Barker in 2013.
The growth in services has led to an increased recruitment of community support workers and support staff, leading to the establishment of a new eastern office based in Glenunga.
“While Cara may be growing, we will ensure that this will not affect our quality of service and our person-centred approach in supporting people with disability and their family members,” assures Denice.
Cara's school-based trainee is PM's pick
Although disability support workers are statistically of an older working age, young people are showing their passion for supporting people with a disability at Cara services.
Since 2011, Cara has enrolled seven school-based trainees to learn and work as support workers in Cara services. The year 11 and 12 students complete a minimum of eight hours of training and work a week (up to 38 hours a week in school holidays), which contributes towards their vocational education training in their SACE studies and a leads to the award of Certificate III in Disability.
Once the students finish school, they can continue their traineeship with Cara towards their Certificate IV in Disability.
One fine example is Cara’s first school-based trainee, Miriam Vigouroux, who enrolled in the program in 2011 and who has continued her traineeship this year. Miriam has worked on Cara’s Camps for Kids and at a children’s respite service.
Behind Miriam’s early passion for a career in disability support is her brother who lives with autism.
“I spent a lot of my childhood in hospital with my brother, so this type of work is something I’ve kind of always done and comes very naturally to me,” says Miriam.
Miriam has extended her caring personality to other vulnerable groups, including Aboriginal communities and impoverished communities in India. All these selfless acts at such a young age have resulted in Miriam receiving several highly-acclaimed awards, including a Humanitarian Award from her local MP, a winner of the 2011 Australian Vocational Student Prize and the South Australian winner of the 2011 Prime Minister’s Award for Skills Excellence in School.
“I must thank Cara staff members who played a vital role in my training by mentoring and developing me both personally and professionally,” says Miriam.
Cara is honoured to have Miriam as a trainee, and excited to attract more talent and enthusiasm like hers into the organisation.
“Our aim is to have enrolled 15 school-based trainees by the end of 2012,” says Cara’s Staff Training & Development Officer, Richard Buttery. “It’s essential that we recruit young people into these roles to supplement our ageing workforce and create future leaders in the disability sector.”
Cara continues to show its support for innovation and research in the disability sector by funding the Nita Curtis scholarship in the Flinders University, Disability and Community Inclusion Unit.
The scholarship is inspired by the legacy of an exceptional woman, Nita Curtis, the first president of Cara, holding the position for a remarkable 15 years from 1994 until 2009. A foster parent since 1971, Nita has cared for over 30 children, many of whom were children with severe and multiple disabilities. These countless acts of generosity and selflessness are acknowledged by the award of a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1994.
At a presentation ceremony in late August, Nita Curtis congratulated the three recipients and wished them luck for their future studies. The postgraduate research students include Ted Evans, a PHD candidate whose research focuses on the service quality of Australian Community Access Services (day services); Mohammad Tarik who will be focusing on intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviours research to complete his Masters of Disability Studies; and Tania Smitham, who has worked in the disability sector for the past 23 years and is focusing on the principles of Active Support, Person Centred Practice and Human Rights considerations for her Masters degree.
Many current Cara staff members are Flinders alumni or part-time students of the university.
“Flinders University has produced outstanding employees for Cara who have greatly contributed to the organisation and to the disability sector as a whole,’ says Cara CEO, Denice Wharldall.
“South Australia is still desperately in need of developmental educators and we hope that this scholarship will encourage more students to take on this challenging and rewarding career.”
Staff stay committed to Cara
In a global community where loyalty to a workplace is rare, Cara acknowledges 23 staff members in 2012 who have reached years-of-service milestones.
“Consistency and reliability is important for the people we support and their families, so we appreciate everyone who stays with Cara for a long period of time,” says Cara CEO, Denice Wharldall.
Over 13 people reached the 10 year mark, five over 20 years and three achieved over 25 years. The most remarkable award of the day was presented to an accommodation service team leader, Jennifer Millikan, who has achieved 35 years of service.
New parent/carer support network
Cara is launching a new support group especially for parents and carers of people with a disability.
We are setting up the group in response to feedback from our recent Cara Consults research, which highlighted the need for parents and carers to have the opportunity to get together in an informal setting to discuss matters in common.
Called the Cara Support Network, the new group will offer parents and carers the opportunity to share experiences, advice and ideas related to supporting and caring for loved ones.
The first meetings are scheduled to take place in September. Experienced Cara staff will be on hand to offer advice and information.
Support Network South
When: Tuesday 11 September (please rsvp by Thursday 6 Sept)
Where: Glandore Community Centre, 25 Naldera Street, Glandore
Times: Session One at 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm or Session Two at 6:00 pm – 7:50 pm
Includes light refreshments
Support Network North
When: Tuesday 25 September (please rsvp by Thursday 20 Sept)
Where: Enfield Community Centre, 540 Regency Road, Enfield
Times: Session One at 12:00 pm – 1:50 pm or Session Two at 6:00 pm – 7:50 pm
Includes light refreshments
Important! You must confirm your attendance in advance (for set-up/catering purposes) by calling Cara Reception tel: (08) 8347 4588.