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Baw Baw Shire Council to continue transition out of direct aged and disability support services
Council is proceeding with the decision reached in March 2020 to transition out of delivering direct care aged and disability support services from 30 June 2022.
The decision to withdraw from these services was due to significant State and Federal reforms in the aged and disability sectors. The reforms involve major changes to the way home support programs are funded, planned and delivered. Their aims are to increase the number of service providers, and create more choice and flexibility for consumers. As a result of the reforms the role of local government in delivering direct care services has been reduced.
Good level of services means broadening the range of services available to older residents, service providers will also co-operate to ensure better referral between services
Difficult decision to cease delivery
At the time of the decision in 2020 Council had proposed to maintain the delivery of Meals on Wheels, assessment service, property maintenance, social support groups, carer support, community transport and volunteer programs.
However, Council has since received advice from the State Government that Council's intention to maintain delivery of some services does not align with State Government policy for the community services sector.
As a result of the State Government position, Council has made the difficult decision to cease delivery of all services to people aged under 65 and Aboriginal people under 50, and Carer's Support Programs from 30 June 2022. Council will continue to deliver Meals on Wheels, assessment services, property maintenance, social support groups, community transport and volunteer programs to people aged over 65.
Ensuring support and assistance
This transition will directly impact three staff who will be supported by Council and will receive their full employment entitlements. Council has commenced work to make sure all impacted clients (approximately 190) will have access to another service provider that can provide continuity of care should it be required.
Council will continue to support existing clients to understand the choices available and to transition service arrangements when required. Impacted clients will be contacted by Council in advance of any changes to services. The decision to withdraw from these services mirrors that of other Councils in Victoria and Gippsland who are going through or have gone through a similar process.
Council remains committed and will be exploring what services it can deliver to support people that need assistance and to ensure they remain connected to the wider Baw Baw Shire Community.
Ensuring high quality support
Mayor Cr Danny Goss said, "This is a difficult decision for the Council and one that is not made lightly. We will continue to assist where possible with the restructure to aged and disability sectors. Our residents remain our top priority and we are committed to ensuring they continue to receive high quality support.
Council understands this decision impacts our staff, our clients and our community. We thank our staff who do an exemplary job in looking after those who require assistance and continue to work with them throughout the transition process".
Ensuring access and services
Cr Tricia Jones said, "Council's service provision within the aged and disability sector has changed as the State Government has changed the program delivery. We understand this transition from Council led services taken over by private providers will be a difficult one for the many recipients involved."
"As always, Council is fully committed to making sure our residents have ongoing access to a range of quality providers and the continuity of the services that they need. I thank all staff impacted by these changes for not only their dedication to their work, but their commitment to caring for members of our community".
For more information on Council's Aged and Disability services transition, please see the media release from changes to aged and disability services.
Pictures from The Helpguide.org website.
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