Study into the Effect of the NDIS on Carers
25 January 2017 at 9:26 am
The wellbeing of carers caring for an individual participating in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) may not have improved compared to those not on the scheme, according to researchers who are embarking on stage three of a national investigation.
Researchers PhD student Matthew Snow and psychology lecturer Dr James Donnelly from Southern Cross University in NSW are calling for carers to take part in an extended survey to examine their wellbeing before, during and after the NDIS.
Snow told Pro Bono News that the third stage of the survey was looking for anyone who was a carer in Australia regardless of the person’s disability or whether they were in the NDIS or not.
“We are attempting to monitor the personal well being and the quality of life of carers across Australia both before and after the NDIS,” Snow said.
“In the NDIS carers are supplied information and referrals, however there is no respite for carers. The NDIS is participant focused and carers are expected to indirectly benefit because the participant is getting funding.
“What does happen is that as a carer you go into the NDIS and you have a lot of extra work to do on top caring for someone. You now have to manage their NDIS funding and all the rest of it.
“Right now we haven’t found any difference in the carers. What we did in part one [of the research] was identify the profile of a carer of a child with an autism spectrum disorder. We found they have significant levels of depression and anxiety and stress… what we want to do is find a balance for that.”
Snow, who is the father of a teenage boy who has a profound level of Autism, described the NDIS as “an ever evolving beast”.
“It takes a long time for issues to be addressed. Although they are trying they haven’t got it perfected yet for the end user.
“What I am expecting over time [is that] we will see that subjective wellbeing will get better. Currently there is no difference is quality of life or the level of strain they are under… This is a subjective measure and that also includes the question: ‘What is your current level of happiness?’
“The current level between the two groups overall is that there is no significant difference.”
He said in fact the trend in the data suggested carers in the NDIS reported lower levels of subjective wellbeing than carers not in the NDIS .
The researchers have already surveyed 500 participants.
“The findings are so far inconclusive and we need more participants as there is going to be a lot of NDIS roll outs this year,” Snow said.
He said the research results would inform future policy of the National Disability Insurance Agency as to how the NDIS effects carers.
To take part in the research visit here.