It has been a year of consolidation for Jewish Care’s Disability Services. By November 2019, all eligible clients had completed the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and we were operating as an NDIS provider.

With the introduction of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission from 1 July 2019, our focus was on aligning our service delivery model and framework to that of the Commission’s Practice Standards. This in part prepared us for our successful NDIS Certification Audit in March 2020, which was the first time registered providers have gone through an audit process for the NDIS. It also enabled us to review how we as a provider had transitioned to the NDIS and where we could make improvements.

With a focus on improving our services, we commenced a review of each of our service areas and the changes to plan management and support coordination services have already resulted in improved response times and increased time spent supporting our clients.

The second half of the year was overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and our focus was on ensuring a safe environment for clients, their families and staff and minimal disruption to the supports we provide.

Some of the major highlights of the year were:

  • the transition of all current disability services clients to the NDIS;
  • providing much needed support, information and advocacy to clients and families to support them to navigate the disability sector and to manage their NDIS funding, and identify and access supports that help them to achieve their goals;
  • seeing positive outcomes for clients in supported accommodation through the implementation of active model of support, where staff support clients to participate in activities and develop greater independence and control over their life;
  • families accessing the Coppel & Piekarski Family Disability Respite Centre were able to increase their utilisation by 14% this year with many families choosing to access on a weekly basis. A similar increase was seen in the number of clients accessing our group activities offered from the Coppel & Piekarski Family Disability Respite Centre and another weekend group was added to meet the demand for our activities; and
  • increasing the variety of supports available to clients under the NDIS and empowering them to maximise their funding to use it in creative ways to explore their interests and for greater independence. Some outcomes have been clients going on weekends away and short stays with a support worker, connecting clients with similar interests and improving their use of technology.