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					     National service planning and access
             improvement framework

National Disability Agreement: priorities E and J

     Disability Policy and Research Working Group
This framework outlines the key principles and objectives to be incorporated in jurisdictional
service access and planning frameworks and features of current good practice being
implemented by various jurisdictions across Australia.

1. Provision of accessible and comprehensive information
A centralized point of contact is provided for people with disabilities seeking information
about, or access to services and support. Information is available in a variety of formats to
promote equitable access.

 Current good practice features include:
 •      Centralised contact points to refer people to most appropriate local entry point.
 •      Alternative entry pathways (eg. Via internet, phone, shopfronts).
 •      Provision of information in different formats.
 •      Provision of information updates to people on register of need.

2. Early intervention and continuum of funding approaches
Funding programs reflect a person centered approach with integrated assessment tools
allowing people to transition smoothly between programs, according to their changing needs
and life styles. Integrated assessment tools identify particular periods where people may be
at risk and targeted responses available to address assessed risks.

 Current good practice features include:
 •      Continuum of funding types that link people with disability to specialist and generic
        services relevant to their life stage or transition point.
 •      Person centred approaches that allow for mix and match support.
 •      Providing a range of generic and specialist service responses which focus on early
        childhood interventions and building family resilience both from within the disability
        service system and through mainstream early childhood services.
 •      Providing intensive services to families at risk of break down.
 •      Reforming post school programs to focus on individual developmental needs of young
 •      Establishing Centre for Excellence to promote evidence based research and practice.
 •      Trialing direct payments to clients using action research model.
3.     Systems for assessment, prioritisation, matching and offer based on
       common principles
Assessment frameworks are based on common principles and provide clarity about eligibility
criteria for the entire range of services available to people with a disability. Assessments
processes are future focused, equitable, sustainable, flexible and responsive, person
focused and outcome driven, reducing unnecessary burdens where possible, for instance
where people with disability are diagnosed with a life-long or long term condition.

 Current good practice features include:
 •      Single application form based on functional need.
 •      Service responses actively coordinated and tailored to individual needs.
 •      Transparent criteria used to prioritise access to services.
 •      Development and use of sector wide vacancy management system.
 •      Outcomes driven assessment process that focuses on helping carer or family to support
        person with disability and to minimize the burden of care.
 •      Establishing a register of need database.
 •      Policies that explicitly sanction balancing prioritization of critical need with providing
        early intervention support.

4.      Transparent and reviewable decision-making
Decision making frameworks are harmonised, holistic, transparent and based on relative
need. Decisions concerning service allocations are subject to review. Review and appeal
processes are independent and accessible to all applicants for services.

 Current good practice features include:
 •      Eligibility and priority of access policy is publicly available.
 •      Decisions are reviewable and review processes publicized in application process.
 •      Minimum timeframes established for making decisions about eligibility and priority of
        access which are communicated to all applicants for services.
 •      Review of decisions referred to independent tribunal.

5.      Flexibility in service and program design
Person centred and all other types of funding (ie. Individualized funding or services accessed
under block funding arrangements) are portable between states and territories and across a
person’s life; applicable to their needs for childcare, schooling, training, the workplace, home
and recreational activity.
     Current good practice features include:
     •     Formal policy and procedures in place for the transfer of funds between and within
     •     Consolidating support funding from multiple sources into single support package.
     •     A diversity of support options are available.
     •     Caveats to above policies are made explicit (eg. Transfer of funding is contingent on
           level, type and availability of funding in receiving jurisdiction, eligibility and prioritization of
           need may vary between jurisdictions).
     •     Using a person centred tailored response with individualized coordination and planning.

6.       Tailored service responses involving people with disabilities in decision
         making and planning
 People with disabilities, their families, carers and advocates actively participate in identifying
 changing needs, goals and aspirations. Services are provided in the least restrictive way and
 plans are monitored and reviewed regularly.

     Current good practice features include:
     •     A policy for individualized/tailored planning which also incorporates requirements for
           regular review.
     •     Plans that emphasise avoiding the escalation of need.
     •     Plans that incorporate reference to building partnerships with service providers and
           support networks.
     •     QA processes that integrate carer/consumer input re individual goals and program
     •     Consolidation of multiple existing programs into fewer generic programs with
           consistent guidelines.

7.       Collaboration and joint planning between relevant government
 Government agencies work collaboratively to develop and implement joint action plans to
 ensure effective and efficient delivery of services including protocols specifying timeframes,
 outcomes and responsibilities.

     Current good practice features include:
     •     Formal coordination mechanisms such as strategic governance groups and the use of
           MOU’s between agencies.
     •     Statutory reporting obligations across government (eg. Via Disability Action Plans).
8. Building service and community capacity in rural and remote areas
 Local needs, gaps and opportunities are mapped to increase the resources available in
 communities. Resource allocation and planning models are based on the prevalence of
 disability in defined communities with weightings ascribed for remoteness and relative
 disadvantage. Services work in partnership with key local leaders and community
 stakeholders to build knowledge, skills and inclusive approaches to when responding to the
 needs of people with disabilities.

  Current good practice features include:
  •      Service delivery models that are based on understanding specialist disability service
         responses are only a small part of the available total service response and that they are
         intended to complement generic services and natural support networks.
  •      Investment in capacity development programs to target sustainability of rural and
         remote services.
  •      Specialist disability workers need to build collaborative partnerships with individuals,
         families, local organisations and the broader community in rural and remote areas.
  •      Recognition that specialist disability services can be delivered effectively via a short
         term consultancy/advisory model using a “train the trainer” approach with suitable local
         people employed to deliver services.
  •      Regular training and information sharing for staff, families and communities can be
         delivered by tele/video conferencing packages and consumers can provide input and
         feedback re future training needs.
  •      Partnering with local government and community health centres to deliver programs in
         rural and regional areas.
  •      Focussing on expanding specialist services and also adding value via the mainstream
         service system.

9. Constructive information sharing on mutual clients
 Government and non government agencies work collaboratively to remove barriers to
 information sharing, including planning data and information in order to better utilize
 resources and integrate systems.

  Current good practice features include:
  •      Use of a client passport to record essential service information.
  •      Exchange of client information via consent and MOU’s re information sharing protocols
         between government agencies.
  •      Use of e referral systems.
  •      Establishing a legislative base to deal with clients with multiple and complex needs to
         facilitate coordinated support.

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