Day service funding change to benefit disabled
Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Social Development & Employment
Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health
10 October 2008 Media Statement
Day service funding change to benefit disabled people
The Government’s decision to transfer day services funding from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Social Development is aimed at improving employment and community participation services for disabled people.
The move brings vocational services for people with intellectual, physical and sensory disabilities together under one funding agency which will ultimately enable a more coherent use of resources.
"Services will continue as normal," says Ruth Dyson, Minister for Social Development and Employment. "People currently receiving Ministry of Health funded day services will continue to receive the same levels of services and support after the transfer. Existing commitments to service users, and their families, to meet their day service needs will be maintained as long as the people require such services.
"Over time the transfer will provide greater opportunities for people using day services to be linked to employment and other services provided by the Ministry of Social Development," said Ruth Dyson.
The Minister of Health, David Cunliffe, says the transfer of funding responsibility will be phased to ease the transition.
"The first stage of the transfer is for those with more straightforward funding arrangements and will start from 01 April 2009. It is expected that this will cover day services for about 1,500 people delivered by about 50 providers," Mr Cunliffe says. "The second stage would involve providers with more complex funding arrangements."
Ms Dyson says the transfer will enable services to be aligned more closely with the Government’s 2001 Pathways to Inclusion strategy which aims to increase the participation of disabled people in employment and in the community.
Disabled people have been entering both the workforce and training and community services in increasing numbers. Currently 10,500 disabled people are being supported to work under the Pathways to Inclusion Strategy. This is a significant increase from 1200 people in 2000.
QUESTION AND ANSWERS ON THE VOCATIONAL FUNDING CHANGE
1. What are the current funding responsibilities?
The Ministry of Social Development is currently the funder of most vocational services for disabled people, which includes employment-related services as well as community participation services provided by non-government agencies for disabled people.
In 2008 approximately 20,000 people received vocational services through Ministry of Social Development funding. This fits the Ministry’s role of providing such services for working age people in general.
Currently the Ministry of Health also funds day services for some people which are very similar in nature to the community participation services funded by the Ministry of Social Development.
2. What funding responsibilities are changing?
The Government has agreed that the Ministry of Social Development will become responsible for funding the vocational services for disabled people that are currently funded through Disability Services in the Ministry of Health, with the following exceptions:
o Services for people who are care recipients under the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003 (ID (CC&R) Act) are excluded from the transfer.
o Further advice will be provided to Government in April 2009 about whether it is appropriate to transfer services for people with intellectual disabilities who have high and complex needs who are not care recipients under the (ID (CC&R) Act).
Individuals and providers affected by the transfer will receive direct communication from the Ministries of Health and Social Development.
3. How will the transfer affect providers and service users?
To ease the transition, the Ministry of Social Development will maintain the existing contracts for one year or until the contract expires (whichever is longer).
People currently receiving day services funded by the Ministry of Health will not be adversely affected by the change in funding responsibility. They will continue to receive the same levels of services and support once the services are transferred to the Ministry of Social Development. Existing commitments to service users, and their families, to meet their day service needs will be maintained as long as the people require such services.
From 2010, the Ministry of Social Development will begin aligning the transferred services more closely with the Pathways to Inclusion focus on achieving employment and community participation outcomes.
4. When will the transfer occur?
The transfer will occur in two stages. The first stage will be service providers receiving Vote: Health funding for day services solely through the Ministry of Health’s day services contracts, as these would be the most straightforward to transfer.
The first stage of the transfer of day services funding will being occurring from 1 April 2009. It is expected that the first stage will cover day services for approximately 1,500 people from about 50 providers.
The second stage will be providers with more complex funding arrangements. A date has not yet been set for the second stage.
5. What is the purpose of the transfer?
The transfer will enable a more coherent use of the resources available to support disabled people to participate in their communities.
Over time the transfer will provide more opportunities for people using day services to be linked to employment and community participation services provided through the Ministry of Social Development.
The transfer will enable the services to be aligned more closely with the Government’s strategy for vocational services, Pathways to Inclusion, which aims to
* increase the participation of disabled people in employment, and
* increase the participation of disabled people in their communities.
This Strategy, launched in 2001, recognises that people have different pathways to inclusion. For some people the primary objective is gaining genuine employment – i.e. real work for real wages. For others work is not a practical or a desirable outcome, but they want to participate in and contribute to their communities in other ways.
An evaluation of Pathways released in July 2008 found that disabled people have been entering the workforce, training and community services in increasing numbers.
6. Is it consistent with strategic directions called for by the disability sector?
The transfer is consistent with
directions set out in several strategic documents informed
by disability sector consultation. This includes the Review
of Long-term Disability Supports that the Government agreed
to in February 2008 and the recent Select Committee Inquiry
into Disability Services completed in September this year,
as well as the overarching New Zealand Disability Strategy
and Pathways to Inclusion Strategy.