16 April 2015
There is a lot happening in the government and policy space, and we have never been as involved as we are now in the lead up to this country’s biggest disability support reform. Here is just a bit of what we’ve been up to.
Youngcare CEO, Samantha Kennerley recently attended a public hearing in Melbourne for a federal senate inquiry into the adequacy of existing residential care options for young people with severe physical, mental or intellectual disability. Youngcare also provided a comprehensive submission to the inquiry, calling to attention the need for the Australian Government to make disability housing a priority. The Youngcare submission was based on consultations with Youngcare stakeholders, including young people with high care needs, their families and carers; and our experiences in providing accommodation solutions, the Youngcare connect service and the At Home Care and Home Soon grants programs to prevent further admissions of young people into residential aged care. CLICK HERE to read the submission.
We’ve also supported the Every Australian Counts campaign, which aims to highlight to all state disability ministers across Australia what’s needed to provide accessible, affordable housing choices to people with a disability.
In addition, we’ve participated in consultations on the National Disability Service Quality and Safeguards Framework, providing comments on an industry discussion paper and calling Youngcare networks to action and to get involved to ensure a quality system for the provision of disability services.
And the really great news? The collective voice calling for appropriate care and accommodation for young Aussies with high care needs is getting louder. Ewen Jones MP, the Federal Member for Herbert addressed the House of Representatives in Canberra last month, calling for more to be done to address the lack of support. We were certainly impressed. Here’s a snippet of it:
“We have, in this country, over 6,000 people under the age of 65 living in aged-care facilities because their needs are great and because we have nowhere else to care for them. Aged-care facilities are not set up for this specific kind of care. It is a crack in the system, and one which will widen without attention.
Youngcare is an organisation which was formed with the specific purpose of assisting young Australians with high care needs for whom living in or facing the prospect of living in an aged-care facility is very real. Youngcare specialises in developing viable models to provide solutions for young people. They have a model which can be placed in just about any community. It is not cheap, nor is it easy, but Youngcare knows the benefits of providing appropriate housing and care to our most exposed. It is about providing choice and options for profoundly disabled young people.”
A huge thank you to Mr Jones for his help in keeping this issue firmly on the national agenda! You can watch his full speech here.
Like we’ve always said, this issue is solvable – but it’ll take a combined effort from the community, corporates, and government. Youngcare continues to work collaboratively with local and federal government and the disability sector to fill the crack in the system and create meaningful change.