Victorians with a disability, their families and carers will have better access to health services and much needed respite during the coronavirus pandemic, with a funding boost from the Victorian Government.
Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan today announced an additional $17 million to ensure all Victorians with a disability get the help they need, when they need it.
Coronavirus poses an increased risk to people with disability – that’s why the Government is investing $2.6 million to establish new Disability Liaison Officers in health services so they’re accessible for all Victorians with disability and they can be linked to the supports they need close to home, family and friends.
We’re investing $2.2 million in advocacy organisations so they can make sure people with disability, including children and students, are appropriately supported during the pandemic with things like phone and online services.
Carers play such a vital role in our community, which is why we’re delivering an additional 11,000 hours of much-needed respite care for about 600 carers in case they become ill and need to self-isolate.
Our Home and Community Care Program for Younger People will also be extended. The program supports young Victorians ineligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) who still need help with daily living due to physical limitations or chronic health conditions.
Organisations helping Victorians with psychosocial disabilities will also receive $4 million in funding to assist them to transition their business model to the NDIS. Another $1.7 million will support the needs of people with disability in the forensic disability, youth justice and adult prison systems.
The Government will expand the Department of Health and Human Services Intensive Support Team, which supports Victorians struggling to access and navigate the NDIS, particularly those with complex needs.
The Office of the Public Advocate will receive almost $1 million to ensure people under guardianship do not experience long wait times for services, and to provide new technology for our Community Visitors program.
Another $2 million will help smaller not-for-profit services with infection control and business continuity, targeted at regional providers. The Government will also provide 20,000 free Police and Working with Children Checks to streamline the process for workers transitioning into the disability sector.
The Government is partnering with the Victorian Disability Advisory Council and other disability community representatives to ensure people with disability have the information they need to protect themselves during the pandemic. For the latest information and advice on coronavirus visit dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan
“We’re making sure Victorians with a disability and the dedicated people who care for them have the support and resources they need throughout the coronavirus pandemic.”
“This funding will ensure people with a disability can access appropriate health services, quarantine arrangements and respite time – all while ensuring the disability sector can stay safe while keeping up their amazing work.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“We’re making sure organisations that are dedicated to helping people manage a mental illness can successfully transfer to the NDIS so Victorians can get the tailored help they need, when they need it.”