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BSL Gets Bigger Role in NDIS Roll Out

26 September 2017 at 8:17 am
Wendy Williams
The Brotherhood of St Laurence is taking on a bigger role in the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Victoria.

Wendy Williams | 26 September 2017 at 8:17 am


BSL Gets Bigger Role in NDIS Roll Out
26 September 2017 at 8:17 am

The Brotherhood of St Laurence is taking on a bigger role in the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Victoria.

The organisation has been appointed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to deliver Local Area Coordination (LAC) services and Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services in the Hume-Moreland area, in Melbourne’s north-east, and in Melbourne’s south-east through to the Mornington Peninsula.

The latest move will see the organisation employ around 200 new staff when seven new offices are fully operational.

It comes after the Brotherhood began delivering LAC and ECEI services, in north-east Melbourne, in the municipalities of Banyule, Darebin, Nillumbik, Whittlesea and Yarra in July 2016.

Brotherhood executive director Tony Nicholson said the alignment of purpose with the Brotherhood’s own objectives was central to the decision to partner with the NDIA in delivering the scheme in north-east Melbourne, and this announcement built on that partnership.

“The NDIS gives peace of mind by ensuring that all who are born with, or acquire, a permanent and significant disability receive the support needed to live a life of common dignity. It aims to invest in people with disability to build each person’s capacity to participate as much as possible in mainstream social and economic life,” Nicholson said.

“Our staff work in the communities they serve, and in our first year, we supported more than 3,000 people to navigate the scheme in north-east Melbourne. The feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive with satisfaction ratings above 90 per cent consistently achieved.

”We look forward to building on our success in delivering coordination services in partnership with the NDIA.”

Acting general manager local area coordination Mara Erhardt-Rumpe, told Pro Bono News the initial period of working with the NDIA had been a “time of learning and listening” to people with disability.

“We have been delivering Local Area Coordination and Early Childhood Early Intervention services since July 2016 as part of the first phase of implementation of the NDIS in the north east Melbourne area,” Erhardt-Rumpe said.

“We commenced our services within weeks of formalising the partnership with NDIA. We established five sites across this area and recruited a new workforce. We have worked with thousands of people with disability and achieved a very high satisfaction rating from participants.

“We adapted our services during the implementation process to tailor these to local features and to the people with disability who live there. It has been a time of learning and listening to people with disability.”

She said the Brotherhood was a good fit to work with the NDIA.

“There continues to be strong alignment of the Local Area Coordination and Early Childhood Early Intervention components of the NDIS with the Brotherhood strategy, enabling us to assist in tackling the poverty and social exclusion of a large segment of the Australian community,” she said.

“Local Area Coordination and Early Childhood Early Intervention services as part of the NDIS, provide a crucial mechanism for increasing participation and community membership for people with disability by helping to build inclusion in the communities in which they live.”

She said they would continue to seek the expertise of people with disability and their significant others “in order to articulate their aspirations, contribute to service development and the design of the NDIS, inform research and evaluation and contribute to policy development and advocacy”.

“Amplifying the voice of the people and communities we work with underpins the work of BSL and this will continue to be our focus as we work with NDIA,” she said.

The organisation is encouraging people with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from diverse cultural backgrounds to apply for the new roles.

Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

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