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Australia's Individualised Disability Funding Packages: When Do They Provide Greater Choice and Opportunity?

C. Laragy, K. R. Fisher, C. Purcal, S. Jenkinson,

Academic Literature


Australia's new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) uses individualised funding packages instead of traditional block-funded disability services to support people with disability. The NDIS works with the person and their family to assess the person's needs and develop a plan that determines their funding allocation. Funding can be used to purchase support from a disability service or from the open market. People can purchase support that suits their cultural and personal preferences. This paper examined whether individual funding packages met their aims in Western Australia, where they had been the primary mechanism of disability support for over 25 years. An exploratory case study was conducted consisting of face-to-face, in-depth interviews with 11 key participants: people with disability, senior government administrators, service provider managers, and a support worker. Complex systems theory was used to review the data and findings showed that individualised funding packages did not automatically result in more choice and greater opportunities. People needed information to make informed decisions; supportive and creative support from social workers and other professionals; and welcoming communities. The findings can inform policies and assist social workers facilitate maximum choice and opportunities for people with disability and their families. © 2015 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Asian Social Work and Policy Review

Domain/s: Economic participation

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