The highly anticipated NDIS review was released this week. There are lots of good summaries and commentary about the proposed reforms. For what its worth, this is my take…

What’s Good:
  • The report acknowledges that families and care-givers need more supports. Capacity building through information, family programs and peer support.
  • Investment in foundational supports and the reconstruction of a program like HACC to support those outside the NDIS or those under nine years of age.
  • The need for programs that support children and young people with key transition points such as starting secondary school, finishing school and living independently.
  • Commitment to reduce restrictive interventions and improve the quality of behaviour support plans.
  • Greater flexibility in how participants and families can spend their NDIS budget.
  • Provider registration – the risk proportionate registration will mean that small providers do not have to undertake onerous audit processes. Having registration of providers does improve the visibility and integrity of the system.
What’s Not-so-Good:
  • More responsibility for parents or care-givers to manage their child’s budget and make payments to providers due to removal of plan managers.
Wait and See:
  • Functional needs assessments as the basis for developing budgets.
  • Skilled assessors to undertake the functional needs assessment.
  • How navigators will work – replacing LACs, support coordination and plan management.
  • How will the NDIA develop workforce capacity?
  • How their digital platform will perform effectively.
I think the NDIS review outlines a number of good initiatives. It does provide opportunities for greater support to children and families which is desperately needed. It will be fascinating to watch how the reforms work out over the next five years.