Children in Care and the NDIS

Ms SANDERSON (Adelaide) (15:03): My question is to the Minister for Education and Child Development. Has the government completed recommendation 223 of the Nyland royal commission, due for implementation by 31.3.2017, to ensure that every child in care, or who enters care or who is potentially eligible, applies to participate in the National Disability Insurance Scheme?

The Hon. S.E. CLOSE (Port Adelaide—Minister for Education and Child Development, Minister for Higher Education and Skills) (15:04): I will have to take that on notice to ensure that the delays in national disability haven't caused a delay in the implementation of that. Obviously, the intention is there, the agreement to it, but I will just have to confirm whether we have met that deadline. We are shortly to be providing a public update on where we are in the response to recommendations, and so that will be amongst those that we will make public.

In reply to Ms SANDERSON (Adelaide) (11 April 2017).

The Hon. S.E. CLOSE (Port Adelaide—Minister for Education and Child Development, Minister for Higher Education and Skills): I have been advised:

The Department for Child Protection (DCP) has put significant steps in place to ensure all eligible children in state care can and do apply for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

As stated in A Fresh Start, recommendation 223 may not be fully achieved by 31 March 2017:

The Department for Child Protection will work towards ensuring that every child in care, who is potentially eligible for NDIS, applies to participate by 31 March 2017. However, given the high number of children in care who have a disability, and the potentially high number of children in care who have not yet been assessed or diagnosed, this recommendation may not be fully achieved by 31 March 2017. The Department for Child Protection is committed to the ongoing work required to ensure all children eligible for NDIS, access services efficiently.

DCP has analysed client data to identify those children potentially eligible for the NDIS and provided contact information for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to initiate the application process. Training has been delivered to DCP staff on the NDIS, eligibility and application processes.

DCP offices continue to progress access requests for all new and existing children in care, and will continue to work with the National Disability Insurance Agency and DCSI to transition children on to the scheme.

Already more children in care have an NDIS plan than were clients under the state disability system.

The specialist disability workers approved under recommendation 226 will bolster the work to ensure every child in care who is potentially eligible, applies to participate in the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Additionally, a pilot project commenced on 1 May 2017 between two DCP offices and Anglicare SA. This pilot established an Anglicare SA NDIS Customer Advocate to assist these DCP offices in their interactions with the NDIS for children in care. The pilot will test the effectiveness of this partnership over a three month period.