3 petition

Started 2 years ago

Petition to John Barilaro, Niall Blair, Troy Grant, Adrian Piccoli, Kevin Anderson, Stephen Bromhead, Andrew Fraser, Thomas George, Chris Gulaptis, Katrina Hodgkinson

Please do not support the closure of government respite centres for people with disability

Dear John, Niall, Troy, Adrian, Kevin, Stephen, Andrew, Thomas, Chris and Katrina Public Services in Regional NSW are essential if country voters are to experience a quality lifestyle. Please do not allow the city Liberals to dictate how The Nationals choose to support the people of Regional NSW. Please do not support the closure of ADHC respite centres and the privatisation of ADHC group homes. WHAT ARE RESPITE SERVICES? Respite services provide planned short term breaks for families and other unpaid carers of children, young people and adults with a disability - with the intention that families/carers resume care at the end of the respite period. They are services that assume the caring role during the period of respite. Respite should be a positive experience for both the carer and the person with a disability. Services should provide positive and meaningful experiences for the person with a disability, at the same time as giving the carer a break from their usual care-giving role. As with many services provided for people with a disability, their carers and families, respite aims to support and strengthen family relationships to keep families together. THERE ARE TWO MAIN TYPES OF RESPITE – CENTRE BASED RESPITE AND OWN HOME RESPITE WHAT IS CENTRE BASED RESPITE? Centre-based respite services are provided in a house in the community where the person with a disability stays overnight or longer. Individual houses may have a specialised focus, such as children or adults, or may dedicate periods of time for a specialist focus, for example women or young adults. Centre based respite is a place that families can access for people with a disability (adults and children). A respite centre provides round-the-clock care for people with a disability for a short period – typically for one night or two nights; perhaps as much as one week. This gives the person with a disability and their family a much needed break. Respite centres are similar to group homes but, due to the short nature of the stay, they are able to assist many more families – up to 70 families per Respite Centre. The NSW government currently operates approximately 60 Respite Centres across NSW. These centres are run by the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC).  The NSW government is planning to close down the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care and transfer all services to privately operated businesses within the next 18 months. WHAT IS OWN HOME RESPITE? Own home respite provides respite in the home of the person with a disability and may be for a few hours or a few days. Respite can include a disability support worker staying overnight with or without the family or carer present. WHY IS CENTRE BASED RESPITE IMPORTANT? Having a child with a disability, regardless of age, is a full-time job. Out of home respite provides families and carers with a much needed break. It gives families the opportunity to rest; to breath; to focus on one another, including any other children in the home. It may provide parents the only opportunity to sleep in the same bed and to get a full night’s sleep, eat dinner without interruption or to sit and do homework or play with other children in the home. Respite centres provide a stimulating environment to people with a disability while sticking to their usual routine and giving them a change of scenery and situation, which can assist with behaviours. Some people with a disability do not spend much time in the community or see people other than their families. Respite centres provide them an opportunity to socialise with their peers and make new friends. Respite centre staff are able to help identify any changes in health or behaviour and can assist families with different strategies that might help them care for their loved one. WHAT IS RELINQUISHED CARE? Relinquished care refers to people whose families or carers are no longer able to look after them in the home. This can happen for a number of reasons and may be because carers are elderly, there is a risk to the person with a disability or another family member, there has been a family breakdown, or for health reasons such as the carer has had an illness, injury or accident. Once care is relinquished, the person with a disability is sometimes placed in a group home, if a place is available. Sometimes there aren’t any group homes available right away so the person can access their out of home respite service to keep them safe, give them some stability and routine during this time as well as keeping them out of the emergency system (such as a hospital). This gives the family piece of mind knowing their person is being cared for by professionals who know them, in a familiar and home like environment. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE NSW GOVERNMENT DECIDES TO CLOSE RESPITE CENTRES? With the future roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the closure of the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC), NSW Government run ADHC respite centres may be closed down. The NSW government is currently no longer referring families and carers to ADHC respite centres. The NSW government prefers instead to offer families “in home” respite. In many cases, In-Home Respite does not give families and carers the break they need. It is becoming clear that the NSW Government would prefer to close down all ADHC respite centres and convert them into privately run group homes, which would then be more attractive to business operators as group homes offer more opportunities for profit.  The NSW government is very keen for private operators to be able to make a profit from our most vulnerable citizens. The dismantling of centre-based respite will mean some families will be stretched to the point of breaking and some carers of people with a disability may feel they have no option but to relinquish their loved ones. Some families may break down completely. Public Services in Regional NSW are essential if country voters are to experience a quality lifestyle. Please do not allow the city Liberals to dictate how The Nationals choose to support the people of Regional NSW. Please do not support the closure of ADHC respite centres and the privatisation of ADHC group homes.

NSW Disability Alliance
163 supporters
Update posted 2 years ago

Petition to Premier Berejiklian, The Hon. Ray Williams, MP, The Hon. Luke Foley, MP, Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile, MLC

Stop the privatisation of Government Disability Services. Please don't abandon our most vulnerable citizens.

Who will care for the people that the private sector reject, once the government abandons disability services? The NSW Government intends to hand over all responsibility for the provision of services to people with disabilities to the private sector, including for-profit organisations.  Not only will this leave the sector without the current protection, accountability and continuation of setting and maintaining standards that Ageing Disability and Home Care (ADHC) provides, it will leave the sector without a safety net.  Undoubtedly it will also cause enormous disruption and uncertainty to the lives of existing clients with intellectual disabilities who are ill-equipped to handle change, and potentially sever long term relationships with dedicated and experienced staff, who are considered by many clients as family. Whilst many non-government organisations (NGO)s provide quality services, ADHC has historically been the provider of last resort, taking on the more difficult clients when NGOs are unwilling or unable to provide services for them.  Although the question regarding the future care of those whom NGOs reject has been put forward to government on numerous occasions, a satisfactory answer has not been forthcoming. The future of respite centres is unclear beyond 2016, when the full commencement of privatisation of government services will take place.  Parents rely on centre based respite to enable them to continue to care for their family member at home, and the uncertainty is causing enormous stress and anxiety. Services are already being cut which is impacting on families, and the lack of transparency regarding the disposal of government assets should be of concern to the community at large. Urgent action is needed to prevent further decline in services.  Please sign and share this petition to stop a vital government service being abandoned, and be a voice for the many vulnerable poeple who need your support.  The recent exposure by ABC 4 Corners of the shocking abuse of people with disabilites occurring in one of the largest private disability service providers makes it all the more important that government retain a role in the disability sector.   Thank you    

Ingrid Pickering
16,746 supporters