Getting the NDIS right for children and young people with disability

    Media Release 2 August 2019

    Australia’s national representative organisation for children and young people with disability (CYDA) calls for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to improve for children and young people with disability.

    A national survey of 189 young people with disability and families/caregivers of children with disability found:

    42% faced barriers to accessing the NDIS

    71% had problems with the NDIS planning process

    67% have had some difficulty or not been able to access the right services and supports needed

    “Families of children and young people with disability are facing huge barriers to accessing the NDIS. They need to get expensive medical and health assessments in order to prove their child or young person with disability is eligible. For some families this can cost over $2,000,” says CYDA Chief Executive Officer, Mary Sayers.

    “Once families have proven their child is eligible for the NDIS, many have problems with the planning stage where they can finally receive approval for the services and supports their child can receive. Families told us they struggled with NDIS staff who didn’t understand their child’s disability, or the services they need.”

    One family of a child under six said “Denied support worker hours, denied riding for the disabled, denied help with support workers for after school hour care. Planner didn't know what after school care was! All occurred at planning meeting.”

    Another family said, “Plans didn’t reflect child’s support needs and contained inaccurate information. A large proportion of funds were allocated to things we didn’t ask for or need (i.e. incontinence nurse) whilst things that would have made a tremendous difference were denied” said another family.

    “We heard getting the right services and support for children and young people with disability is incredibly challenging” says Ms Sayers.

    “Long waiting lists for services, particularly in rural areas, poor quality staff and a lack of information about what services are available to support children and young people with disability means families are struggling to access essential services”.

    “The importance of early intervention for children and young people with disability is well known. The Commonwealth and state and territory governments all have a role to play to ensure the promise of the NDIS is realised. To address thin markets there needs to be active ‘market stewardship’ to address service shortages and build a high quality workforce.”

    CYDA has produced a submission to the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services NDIS Thin Markets Project. Four headline recommendations have been made:

    Streamline access into NDIS for children and young people with disability

    Improve the planning process so the right services and supports are included for children and young people with disability

    Address thin markets for children and young people with disability so they can get the right services and supports at the right time

    Build the NDIS workforce of the future

    Read CYDA’s submission to the NDIS Thin Market Project.

    Ends

    For media interviews with Mary Sayers call 0407 126 351