This week marks a major milestone for Victoria’s disability sector, with almost 800 Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) staff and 500 clients in disability accommodation and respite services moving to Life Without Barriers, one of the five non-government providers that will deliver these services in future.
These changes, announced on 28 August 2018, are part of Victoria’s transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The successful providers, which also include House with No Steps, Melba Support Services, Possability and Scope, were selected based on their credentials of delivering high quality and safe support, a strong leadership team to support a positive culture of excellence and working in strong partnership with the community, people with a disability and their families. Each of the new providers will be required to adhere to a robust contractual monitoring and performance regime focusing on safety, service quality and fair workforce conditions.
Since the changes were announced, the department has been working in partnerships with people with disability, their families and for the disability workforce to ensure the transfer has been well planned and smooth.
This is the first group of staff who are going on secondment to the non-government providers between now and late 2019.
DHHS Secretary, Kym Peake, said: “These colleagues have individually and collectively embodied the values of the department and made a substantial contribution to the lives of vulnerable Victorians through several significant changes to the way disability services are delivered."
“From institutions to group homes, and now to non-government providers, they continue to play an essential role in supporting people with disability to live a life they value with greater choice and control."
“I’d like to personally thank each of our colleagues who are going on secondment. They take with them a wealth of knowledge and experience and I have no doubt they will provide the same high-quality service and maintain trusted relationships with people with disability and their families as Victoria enters this exciting new phase of service delivery.”
The government will monitor the performance of the new providers to ensure they continue to meet strict quality and safety conditions, and are committed to people with a disability, their families and the workforce.
Find out more about disability in Victoria via the DHHS disability page.