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Alix

Alix Goodwin

Year of Award: 2014 Award State: New South Wales Social Welfare > Disabled And Disadvantaged
To identify programs that prevent abuse of people with disabilities who use direct payments to purchase services - UK, Sweden
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On 1 July 2013, a trial of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) commenced in Australia. The NDIS is due to be fully implemented by the middle of 2019. During the trial, states and territories have agreed that existing disability service system safeguards will remain in place while a national quality and safeguards framework is developed for the NDIS.

Under the NDIS, people with disability will be able to purchase the supports they require using direct payments, where agreed by the National Disability Insurance Agency. The NDIS Act 2013, rules and operational guidelines include a number of safeguards designed to protect people using direct payments from risk of harm.

In late 2014, with the support of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, I visited England, Scotland and Sweden where direct payments have been available for people with disability receiving government funded support services since the mid 1990s. With an eye to informing the design of the national quality and safeguards framework for the NDIS, I met with a range of government, non-government and other organisations to ascertain whether adults with disability using direct payments experience abuse, neglect and exploitation at a greater rate compared to those using conventional services. I also sought to identify programs and strategies that have been introduced in these countries to reduce the risk of harm to people with disability using direct payments. This report outlines the findings of my study tour.

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