PREPARATIONS for the National Disability Insurance Scheme trial in the Hunter will take a step forward on Wednesday with the naming of St Vincent de Paul as the provider of new local co-ordinators.
Disability Services Minister Andrew Constance will announce the welfare organisation has been selected as the Ability Links NSW provider, which will ensure 14 co-ordinators are in place initially for the trial’s launch in July.
They will help people with disabilities, their families and their carers plan for the future and the services they will access.
From mid-2014, there will be 39 co-ordinators in place throughout the Hunter ahead of the expansion to a fully operational scheme across the state in 2018.
‘‘This is an important step to ensuring that people with disability are supported and that NSW is ready for the launch of the [scheme] in the Hunter in July,’’ Mr Constance said. ‘‘St Vincent de Paul is a well-established national charity, which aspires to shape a more just and compassionate society. It’s an organisation which encourages people to take control of their own destiny, which align with the aims of the [scheme].’’
The trial will involve 10,000 people with a disability accessing new individual funding arrangements, giving them a choice in the types of support services they access and from where.
Co-ordinators will help with their planning and to develop support networks.
The state government will spend $26.5million a year for an overall 248co-ordinators in NSW.
A taskforce recommended last year that the government should consider proposals for establishing Ability Links NSW from ‘‘high-quality existing organisations not principally involved in the delivery of disability services’’.
Co-ordinators would have a critical role in a reformed disability sector as the locally based first point of contact for the system, the taskforce’s report said.
NSW was the first state to sign up to the full national scheme.