Policy Submission: The adequacy of existing residential care arrangements for young people with severe physical, mental or intellectual disabilities in Australia
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JFA Purple Orange submitted this policy to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs’ Inquiry on 'The adequacy of existing residential care arrangements for young people with severe physical, mental or intellectual disabilities in Australia.'
We recommend the Senate Community Affairs Committee:
Adopt the basic premise that it is never acceptable for a younger person to live in a Residential Aged Care Facility.
Develop a national program which addresses the systemic failures at key transition points which contribute to young people living with disability being placed in residential aged care. This program should:
a. Target transition points such as health (hospitals and rehabilitation services), crisis care, education and consider the situation of ageing parents; and
b. Include strategies which increase/release the capacity of people living with disability and their families to imagine a range of positive outcomes, plan and make informed choices.
Endorse a clear set of values and principles for government, young people living with disability and their families to guide the decision making process. Values may include:
a. Articulating the importance of power, choice and control
b. The preference for young people to live or return to their family or community
c. The importance of capacity building for individuals for informed decision making
d. Providing an environment which is responsive and flexible to individuals
e. The availability of flexible funding, support and assistance.
Consider the opportunities and options provided through a framework such as the Model of Citizenhood Support, which employs strategies and actions to facilitate choice, participation and autonomy.
Explore pathways to contemporary models to enable individuals to have genuine choice in their housing. These might include:
a. Living with family with appropriate building modifications
b. Co-tenancy with friends or flat mates in private rental or affordable housing
c. Living alone with support as required in private rental or affordable housing
d. Home-share options where a person with disability shares accommodation with someone without disability (often a student) for reduced or no rent in exchange for support around the home
g. Attendant care – individual dwellings dispersed within a suburb where tenants use the same support agency/support agency staff
e. Mini-cluster housing – two or three units on one site with support as required.