GIFSA receive disability transition support

GIFSA have received around $30,000 to support their transition to the federal NDIS. Photo: Jake Dietsch.
GIFSA have received around $30,000 to support their transition to the federal NDIS. Photo: Jake Dietsch.

The Goldfields Individual and Family Support Association (GIFSA) have received funding to help transition their clients to the federally funded National Disability Insure Scheme (NDIS).

The transition in the Goldfields-Esperance officially started on October 1.

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Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson announced the first round of the WA Sector Transition Fund on October 5.

Mr Dawson said the $20.3 million fund would ensure quality supports and services were maintained for people with disability and their families during the transition.

“This is a period of significant change and opportunity, and we are investing in the sector and its success,” he said. 

The first round committed $5 million. 

GIFSA chief executive officer Robert Hicks said the organisation applied for about $60,000 and received about half of that.

Mr Hicks said given there were 42 successful applications for only $5 million, it was a very competitive process.

“We didn't quite get all that we asked for, however we are grateful for the $30,000 we will be receiving,” he said. 

GIFSA will use the funding to develop a client management system.​

“The way organisations or providers are able to manage their businesses requires a completely different IT system and client management system,” Mr Hicks said.

“This transitional funding will help us to develop a suitable client management system so that we can continue to provide quality services to our clients throughout the region.”

Mr Hicks said for people to receive funding support they needed to be aware of the new scheme.

“If they don't know about it they are not going to apply,” he said.

“If someone has a disability there is a process by which you are assessed and if successful you will receive funding support for a 12 month plan and these plans are revised on an annual basis.”

Mr Hicks said GIFSA would now find funds from their own resources or elsewhere to pick up the balance of what they didn’t receive.

“The client management system is absolutely critical to GIFSA to provide continuity in care,” he said.

“Without it we won't be able to effectively support people in Esperance.”

Mr Hicks said GIFSA lobbied for the Commonwealth Government to provide matching transitional support funding.

“We are disappointed that the Commonwealth hasn't done that, but we are very pleased that the state government saw fit to provide transitional funding,” he said.

“It would have been good had the Commonwealth Government stepped up to the plate and matched the state government’s transitional funding commitment but they didn't.”