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Celebrating Families: IHC Support Co-Ordination

Judith Collins
Celebrating Families
3 April 2008

IHC Families Seek Better Co-Ordination of Support

IHC has recently released a briefing paper calling for better co-ordination of support for families.

It exposes the situation for a 20-year old John who has three part-time jobs, and lives at home with his mother, step father and sister. He has individual support for between 22 and 26 hours a week and also attends a vocational service for six hours a week.

The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Development each fund some of John’s activities and the money comes through five different funding arrangements. The same worker for three of the funding arrangements has to be self employed in two and an employee in one, the briefing paper says.

It highlights the fact that no one person leads the multi-agency team and coordination falls back on John’s parents. Having no security of on going funding means John’s week is very fragile. Finding relievers if John’s support person is sick is difficult and this means John cannot go to work. Consequently he loses the payment for the hours he misses out. Recruitment and retention of age-appropriate support people is difficult due to complex funding. Frequent meetings are required and staff in all agencies are frequently changing, the briefing paper says.

This situation is absolutely ridiculous and it’s time things were improved for John and the many others like him. I agree with the briefing paper’s statement that these people may not personally be aware of the complex arrangements that surround them due to their intellectual disability but their families certainly are. Those families need proper support that is much easier to manage.

Good Work in the Solomon Islands This week, I met David Nunn from New Plymouth who together with his wife, Marlene, collects hospital equipment which is surplus to requirements in New Zealand to send to the Solomon Islands. Last year, I spent a short period of time in the Solomons and was shocked by the challenges facing people living there. David and Marlene’s efforts have been greatly assisted by kind donations from around the country of goods and even services such as container transport.

David and Marlene can be contacted at damar[at]vodafone.net.nz if people feel they can assist.


Judith Collins
MP for Clevedon


ENDS

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