People with disability have a right to access accommodation that supports them to live independently, feel safe and secure and feels like their home.
During 2021 and 2022, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission undertook an Inquiry looking at the experiences of NDIS participants living in supported accommodation.
The Inquiry examined 7000 reportable incidents and complaints that had been made to the Commission in connection with the supported accommodation services (specifically group homes) by 7 of the largest providers of these services over the period 1 July 2018 to 30 September 2022.
The inquiry focused on trying to better understand the challenges faced by participants living in supported accommodation and providers in creating environments that support participants’ disability needs, while providing a sense of home.
One of the key objectives was to identify models of best practice for the delivery of supported accommodation that can inform how the NDIS Commission work with providers in this area, and the development of relevant practice standards and quality indicators.
The key findings of the Inquiry include:
- Greater engagement with people living in group homes is required to support their exercise of choice and control.
- The attitude and aptitude of the workforce drives a high number of the issues evident in group home settings.
- The interaction of supported independent living (SIL) and specialist disability accommodation (SDA) arrangements affects the ability of people with disability in supported accommodation to make changes to their living arrangements.
- The need to better understand the supported accommodation market and how including improving the collection, monitoring and analysis of relevant data.
- The interface with health and the supported accommodation system is not effective for many people living in these settings.
The Commission has released an Action Plan setting out three key areas of response to these findings.
- Elevate the quality and safety of supported independent living services
- The need for specific regulation of group home settings to enhance the quality and safety of these settings for people with disability by developing new Practice Standards and quality indicators specific to supported accommodation.
- Educate providers and workers through continued focus on the NDIS Workforce Capability Framework to build workers capability.
- Work with providers to co-design and pilot aspects of the best practice model for supported accommodation.
- Target education initiatives to promote best practice in the areas of complaint and incident management, governance models, person-centred Active Support and participant rights and individual choice and control.
- Increase oversight and compliance of supported independent living services.
- Enhance guidance for reportable incidents.
- Amplify the voice of people with disability living in supported accommodation
- Develop targeted programs of communication, engagement and education to give people with disability living in supported accommodation ways to exercise their rights.
- Support providers to allow participants living in larger facilities to have greater choice and control in the changes to their living arrangements and the design and delivery of supports in their new homes.
- Ensure the voice of participants are embedded in the audit scheme by including a Consumer Technical Expert in the audit scheme.
- Improve the NDIS to maximise the choice, control and experience of participants living in supported accommodation.
- Build a deeper understanding of the supported accommodation market and the interaction of supported independent living and specialist disability accommodation.
- Undertake research to grow understanding of the factors that influence participant personal wellbeing, including the role of choice.
Further detailed consultation with people with disability is planned to inform how best to implement the changes arising from this Inquiry.
Further information on the inquiry and a copy of the report can be found at Own Motion Inquiry into Aspects of Supported Accommodation in the NDIS | NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (ndiscommission.gov.au).
If you would like to discuss whether you are meeting your requirements under the NDIS Practice Standards for supported disability accommodation of supported independent living we are here to help, contact us on 0478 616 207 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary consultation to chat about your compliance obligations.