Noah's Ark makes submission to the Independent Review of the NDIS

20 Mar 2023

Therapist with mother holding her school aged daughter peeking from behind her comforter.

Noah’s Ark recently welcomed the opportunity to comment on the Independent Review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). In recognising that the NDIS is a generous funding program, there are many issues for children with disabilities and their families in the way the NDIS is currently implemented.

The purpose of the paper was to discuss the lack of an Australian blueprint or strategy for children with disabilities and their families. The absence of such a policy framework has had a significant impact on both the design or the NDIS and its implementation. While such a strategy should be broader than individual funding programs such as the NDIS, the nature of an NDIS for children means it will be most beneficial when it operates within a framework and design that allows it to complement how children with disabilities are supported within their families, community and learning environments.

The NDIS is a key resource for young children and their families. However, it sits alongside other major systems, particularly education and health. It is unclear how a NDIS market for children can be effectively commissioned without there being clarity about the role of the NDIS within a broader strategy. This includes clarifying its intersection with families, the community, and educational services.

The submission concluded that the development of a national strategy for children with disabilities is critical for the development of the NDIS at several levels, considering sustainability and aligning the NDIS to what benefits children.

The way in which the NDIS has been established is having consequences which are not in the interests of children with disabilities or their families. These consequences are related to parent wellbeing, the intersection between the NDIS and schools and service coordination.

A NDIS that operates within the context of a national framework for children with disabilities would be designed in a way that complements the other components of a child’s life, including their family, community, and educational settings. That would lead to a truly world-class service.

Read the full submission .

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