Partnerships Needed to Find Solution for Young People in Aged Care
8 August 2018 at 4:49 pm
Building sustainable partnerships within the social and health sectors is “absolutely critical” to finding a solution for young people in residential aged care homes (YPIRAC), a disability expert says.
Dr Di Winkler, the Summer Foundation’s chief of research and innovation, spoke to Pro Bono News following the foundation’s announcement of a $1 million competitive research grant.
Winkler said the purpose of the grant was to encourage partnerships with larger organisations such as universities to “leverage expertise and resources” on the issue.
“We’ve got some fantastic internal research underway, but these partnerships will seed fund strategic, high quality research that will attract substantial grant funding from other sources,” Winkler said.
An investment of $15 million over the next five years would be needed to roll out the necessary research agenda, Winkler said, and the foundation could not achieve this on its own due to a lack of resources and expertise.
Winkler said the foundation’s role would be “measuring impact” and working towards “changing systems” that “let [YPIRAC] down”.
“We see ourselves as system entrepreneurs, so part of what we do is research to really understand the systems and look to intervene,” she said.
The Summer Foundation said extensive and “high quality” research would need to be done around the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), as well as the aged care, housing and hospital systems.
“Our research will identify the factors that shape these systems, the pressure points, costs and potential opportunities for early intervention and catalytic change,” Winkler said.
Earlier this year, concerns were raised over the number of the number of YPIRAC rejections from the scheme, however Winkler said a new outreach function introduced by the National Disability Insurance Agency would help the “really disadvantaged” gain access to the NDIS.
Winkler said it was also the foundation’s “outreach work with YPIRAC” that saw many get access to the NDIS.
“Doing outreach specifically and providing an evidence base about what it takes to support people to engage was really important,” she said.
The foundation has been working alongside a sister entity, Summer Housing, to provide accommodation for people with disability and complex needs, aiming to “improve quality of life and independence”.
While they were making progress, Winkler said this would be slow as there were “multiple complex systems”, which made thorough research necessary.
“We can’t change a system that we don’t understand,” she said.
Expressions of interest for the grant are now open until the end of September.