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Transfer overview - fact sheet

Ensuring a smooth and successful transfer of accommodation and respite services to non-government providers

Victoria has always been a leader in providing high quality disability services, and the Victorian Government is committed to ensuring people with disability receive the best support possible as we deliver on the promise of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Victoria.

This fact sheet explains the process the Government is undertaking to transfer accommodation and respite services in a way that protects the quality and safety of services, and ensures people with disability have greater choice and control and remain firmly at the centre.

Background

The NDIS represents a historic opportunity to transform the way we help Victorians with a disability to ensure that they get the support and services they need.

In Victoria, this means that over 105,000 people will be accessing the NDIS when it is fully implemented, and this is supported by an investment of over $2.5 billion by the Victorian Government to ensure that they can exercise choice and control over day to day decisions in their lives, just like any other Victorian.

The Victorian Government has taken a positive step forward to ensure the delivery of high quality services that is underpinned by the fair treatment of Victoria’s valued disability workforce under the NDIS.

The Victorian Government has announced it will proceed to a tender process to transfer government operated disability accommodation (also known as Supported Independent Living) and respite (Short Term Accommodation and Assistance) services to the non-government sector.

The Government is confident that the non-government sector can meet the strict requirements we have set on quality and safety, and that it shares our commitment to people with disability, families, carers and the workforce. This was demonstrated through the Expression of Interest (EOI) process run in 2017.

Outcomes from the EOI process

During the EOI process in 2017, providers were assessed against strict evaluation criteria shaped by engagement with people with disability, families and workers.

High quality non-government accommodation and respite providers demonstrated that they can meet the Government’s strict conditions for the delivery of disability services:

  • they will work with people with disability and their families, and staff to deliver individualised and responsive services
  • they will work with the NDIS and ensure a smooth transition for people with disability and staff
  • they employ staff on fair terms and conditions and have a good workplace culture with high standards that will support collaboration and professional development
  • they can demonstrate innovative approaches in service delivery for people with disability
  • they have a strong safety record for clients and staff

The next step is receiving detailed proposals from prospective providers

We have now entered the next phase where the Victorian Government has requested detailed proposals from selected accommodation and respite services providers, and will assess them against a targeted set of evaluation criteria through a tender process.

These prospective providers, who have been shortlisted from the EOI process, will be further assessed on their ability to deliver high quality services that are person centred, individualised and safe, and are delivered by skilled and committed staff employed on fair conditions.

How is the transfer different to transition to the NDIS?

The transfer of services is about you receiving your current accommodation or respite services from a new provider rather than from Government. This is separate to your transition to the NDIS. The NDIS is being introduced by region in Victoria and you may have already been contacted by the NDIA to develop your plan for all the services you need funding for.

Key dates for transfer of services

The tender is open from February to late April 2018.

We will evaluate proposals and are expected to announce the successful providers from mid-2018.

There will be no changes for staff or participants during 2018.

We will then start the process to transfer accommodation and respite services and staff to successful non-government providers.

The first stage of the transfer process will see clients supported to transfer from 1 January 2019, and employees seconded to a successful provider. The secondment period will be for up to two years and during this time staff will remain Department of Health and Human Services employees.

Following the secondment period, the workforce will be supported to become employees of the new provider on 1 January 2021 through an offer of employment. The offer will be based on each worker’s substantive (ongoing) position and their current employment terms. The replacement Disability Services Enterprise Agreement (DSEA) and all terms, conditions, protections and accrued entitlements will transfer with them.

Working together to achieve a shared vision

The Government is putting people with disability at the centre of the NDIS rollout process. Since 2016 we have been working closely with Victorians with disability, their families and disability workers across the state, as well as service providers to shape the future delivery of disability services.

Together we are co-designing a system that will ensure individualised and safe services delivered by trusted and experienced workers, with ongoing access to advocacy and support.

The information gathered during these discussions has shaped the strict conditions that the Government has placed on the potential transfer of services and both the EOI and tender evaluation criteria.

Our commitment to partnership and collaboration continues as we work with people with disability, their families and the disability workforce to plan for the transfer together.

There will be opportunities over the next year to stay informed and actively participate. We want to ensure that the people at the heart of the reform have influence and choice regarding the disability services they receive.

Ensuring a smooth and successful transfer

We understand that transferring to new providers is a significant change and are committed to ensuring the transfer is well planned and smooth for people with a disability, families and the disability workforce.

The two stage transfer process has been designed to make sure participants continue to receive high quality and safe services and maintain trusted relationships with the staff who support them.

The transfer process will be highly consultative and be supported by active engagement  from people with disability, their families and the workforce.

Successful providers will be required to adhere to a contractual monitoring and performance regime focusing on safety, service quality and fair workforce conditions. Providers will also be required to put in place regular feedback processes, which will be designed in partnership with participants, families and the workforce, and outcomes will be monitored.

Supporting participants and families

The two stage transfer process recognises the critical role of employees and the importance of continuity of support for participants and families delivered by committed and trusted disability support workers and house supervisors.

The Victorian Government is committed to ensuring people with disability continue to receive the best support possible and has put in place strict protections as part of the conditions of transfer. This means:

  • People’s homes will be protected. The ownership of group homes and respite facilities will not change as part of this tender process. People will be supported to choose the accommodation or respite services that work best for them into the future.
  • Successful non-government providers must maintain House Supervisors to provide leadership and ensure continuity of support for residents and peace of mind for families.
  • Access to transport will be protected as it is critical to supporting participants to access the community. Successful non-government providers will need to ensure there is no reduction in current transport services for participants.
  • Quality of service will be protected. While under the NDIS there will be a national approach to quality and safeguards, the Victorian Government will establish a monitoring and performance regime for the transferred services and will continue to play an active role in quality assurance.

Supporting disability workers

We have a highly skilled disability workforce and are committed to protecting their ongoing employment standards.

We know that this change represents a significant transformation of the sector, and how important it is to protect employment terms and conditions, and create incentives for staff to transfer to the non-government sector.

We also know how important it is for staff to continue to support clients and their families and maintain a trusted and positive relationship.

To that end, the Government and the Health and Community Services Union (HACSU) have agreed to a package for the government disability workforce. The wages, incentive payments, job security and protection of terms and conditions offered represent Government’s strong and ongoing commitment to the workforce, ensuring they will be supported to transfer to non-government providers on fair terms and conditions.

The Government acknowledges and values the commitment and hard work of thousands of disability workers, and will continue to support them to deliver quality service as the disability sector expands.

Timeline at a glance

February to April 2018: shortlisted providers are invited to submit detailed tender proposals

February 2018: forums for the workforce to consult on the transfer process and terms of transfer

February/March 2018: forums for participants and families to give an overview of the transfer process

March to June 2018: activities to engage participants and families in co-designing how the transfer to non-government providers will work

From mid-2018: successful providers are announced

Mid to late 2018: forums for the workforce, participants and families take place to meet with new providers and prepare for transfer

From 1 January 2019: service transfer to new providers, overseen by the Government’s strict performance and monitoring regime

Want to learn more?

Visit www.vic.gov.au/ndis to find out more about:

  • initiatives for the workforce as part of Keeping our sector strong: Victoria’s workforce plan for the NDIS
  • other Victorian Government disability reforms to help Victoria transition to the NDIS
  • the outcomes of co-design engagement so far
  • the rollout of the NDIS in Victoria