Carers Queensland and the NDIS
We are dedicated to making life better
The Board of Carers Queensland has been a long-time supporter of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) being implemented, including representing carers to the Productivity Commission and advising that it was not sustainable to continue to ‘prop up carers’ unless some significant changes were made to the provision of disability services.
We believe that it is beneficial to bring our experience with carers, work alongside the NDIS and contribute towards a better quality service, than to have service providers without that specialist knowledge leaving carers out of the conversation altogether.
Carers Queensland genuinely believes the NDIS is a positive change for Australians, people with disability, and caring families; we understand that the progress towards the full scheme rollout is a journey, and that the best outcomes can be found if we work together.
Your questions answered
Is Carers Queensland just chasing some easy money through NDIS contracts?
- Carers Queensland is a registered charity and not-for-profit, which means that any and all unspent money (surplus) either:
- goes back into the organisation to fund other support services (including carer supports), or
- is given back to the funding body at the end of the contract period.
- There is nothing easy about the rollout of the NDIS; our staff work extremely hard to make a real difference in people’s lives.
I thought you only supported carers. What experience do you have with disability support?
- Carers Queensland has been providing services for people with disability in the community for many years through the provision of:
- Cultural and Linguistic Diversity Program (CALD),
- Better Start,
- Your Life, Your Choice (YLYC), and
- Carer support initiatives and family collective programs.
- Over one third (37.8%) of primary carers are living with a disability themselves (ABS, 2015). Often, through the provision of support services, we are assisting carers to manage their own disability, which in turn supports those they care for.
- In view of supporting those who care for someone with disability, we in turn need to have experience in disability ourselves, as carers’ focus tend to be on the unmet needs of the person they care for.
Is providing NDIS services taking you away from your “core services” of supporting carers?
- We believe that supporting the unmet needs of people with disability directly supports those who care for them, and in turn their families and the broader community.
- As such, it also contributes to Carers Queensland’s vision and mission statement.
- 79% of carers don’t actually identify as carers, and as such many people don’t receive the support they need. The NDIS allows us to connect with thousands of carers and families who might otherwise remain hidden.
- We continue to provide our existing range of carer support services.
- Our organisational strategy is firmly focussed on growing our carer support services, providing more support to more carers in more locations across Queensland.
- As above, the NDIS is working towards supporting all Australians who have a disability and are eligible for NDIS support, and all Australians with disability through our Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) activities as part of the Local Area Coordination (LAC) program.
How can you advocate for carers affected by the NDIS? Isn't there a conflict of interest?
- Carers Queensland continues to undertake systemic advocacy on a range of issues impacting on caring families either directly with Ministers, through relevant representative advisory groups, written submissions to government, direct discussions with bureaucrats and/or through our reporting processes.
- Carers Queensland facilitates a range of research that contributes to policy and directs our own service provision.
- We work with all families and participants to get the most out of their NDIS plans and associated community supports.
- We support people who aren’t happy with the NDIS to access a range of other external organisations, including advocacy.
- We also provide Information, Linkages, and Capacity Building (ILC) services for all people with disability, regardless of whether they are eligible for NDIS funded supports
- Carers Queensland continues to facilitate (and grow) a range of other initiatives, services, and programs including, but not limited to:
- Formal and structured carer conversations,
- ”How the NDIS can best support the needs of caring families” workshops,
- Our annual Quality of Life survey,
- Capacity building workshops, including Self-Advocacy,
- Awareness and education campaigns, such as National Carers Week,
- Our existing range of Carer Support Services.
I read in the news that NDIS staff don’t have the required skills or training. Is that true?
- Carer Queensland undertakes an intensive recruitment and induction process, with staff receiving comprehensive induction and training before they start.
- A pre-requisite of all NDIS staff is to have demonstrated experience in the community, health, or disability sector(s).
- A very high percentage of our staff have disabilities themselves, or are in a caring role. We pride ourselves on the diversity and knowledge of our staff.
- We know that many disabilities can be extremely complex, and many families are presented with individual journeys that require lived experience to properly understand. We don’t pretend to know everything, and we can’t solve every issue, but our team is absolutely committed to doing everything we can to support you on that journey.
- 95% to 98% of participants (and their carers) are “satisfied” to “extremely satisfied” with the NDIS Local Area Coordination (LAC) services we provide.
I have had a poor experience with the NDIS, or with one of your services, how can you help me?
- We care about your opinion and welcome your feedback. Whether it’s positive or negative, you have a right to speak up about things that affect you, and your feedback helps us to improve the quality of our services.
- If your feedback or complaint is with a different service provider, you should contact them directly, or contact the Office of Fair Trading.
- All our office details can be found at our contact us page, where you can:
- phone or visit us in person; we are always happy to talk with you.
- type or write down the details, post them to our office address, or send us an email.
- You can submit an online form via https://carersqld.com.au/feedback/
- For more information, you can download our Feedback and Complaints Flyer.
Want to know more?
Read more about our NDIS Local Area Coordination Partners in the Community Program.