In the final part of our discussion on the Disability Royal Commission’s Final Report, Kiind Systemic Advocacy Lead, Renée Darbyshir explains the proposed ‘provider of last resort’ scheme and how it can help address the gaps in critical services.
Through Kiind’s Journey Mapping Project with Innovation Unit, we heard that families experiencing crisis often have nowhere to go, and are typically turned away from mental health services, disability providers, and even health specialists when their needs or behaviours become ‘too complex’.
The Disability Royal Commission Final Report urges the federal and state governments to set up a ‘provider of last resort’ scheme, and to do so urgently. The recommended scheme would address failed and thin markets, including in regional and remote communities, with block funding to guarantee service provision in those communities.
The role of state governments is to build an effective, appropriately trained and adequately resourced mainstream service sector that is inclusive of all people with disability, including children, young people, and their families. Inclusive service systems provide a safeguard against families reaching crisis point or burnout from under-servicing or exclusion.
“I have learned that everyone relating together, disabled and non-disabled, as classmates, neighbours, co-workers, friends and acquaintances, they become a growing group of informal and effective watchdogs calling out violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, because it is visible.”
Commissioner Galbally, Final Ceremonial Hearing of the Disability Royal Commission, September 15 2023.
The proposed ‘provider of last resort’ scheme could help ensure that there is access to services for people in crisis situations, those at risk of losing their accommodation or services, and people whose needs cannot be adequately met by existing services.
We also need all levels of government to understand the essential role that parents have in the lives of children and young people with disability – we are their core supports and capacity-builders, their safeguards, coordinators, and advocates.
Systems need to appropriately resource and bolster families in their ability to care for their children, providing them with opportunities to thrive in ordinary lives, and protect them from reaching crisis point. This means giving families additional support in their roles through respite, counselling, family capacity-building, systemic advocacy, and peer support.
What comes next?
The Disability Royal Commission recommends that the Australian Government and each state and territory government consider and publicly respond to its recommendations within six months of receiving the Final report. This process is similar to that of previous royal commissions.
The Australian Government Response to the Disability Royal Commission will be opening soon. The Australian Government Department of Social Services will engage and consult with people with disability, their families, carers, representative organisations, service providers, unions, and the broader community to inform Government decision making on reform and change.
More details on how to participate will be available shortly – to stay informed and be involved in this consultation, you can subscribe for email updates from the Department of Social Services.
In case you missed it, read Renée’s summary of the Disability Royal Commission’s Final report and discussion on human rights here and her thoughts on what it means for inclusive education here.
To find out more about Kiind’s systemic advocacy, click here. If you would like to share you experience in navigating complex systems such as health, NDIS and education, to help help inform our systemic advocacy, click here or email email@example.com.