New System for Disability Services Starts Today - A new service system for people accessing disability support begins today, making Tasmania the first in Australia to deliver services through the Gateway model.
Secretary to Cabinet, Cassy O'Connor, said disability services would join Child Protection and Family Services to be delivered through the Gateway system following their successful transition to the new model last year. "Today marks an important milestone in our efforts to improve access and reduce confusion for Tasmanian clients of disability services," Ms O'Connor said.
"Disability Services within the Department of Health and Human Services will no longer be the first point of contact for people seeking disability assistance.
"The Gateways will take over this task, providing a one-stop shop for Tasmanians needing both family and disability support, including all intake, referral and assessment functions.
"Today's move to the Gateway model is a key step in transforming Disability Services as recommended in a review in 2008.
"This year's State Budget allocated $16.2 million to help make this transition a reality by acknowledging that there will be upfront costs associated with getting the new model up and running."
Ms O'Connor said that the addition of Disability Services to the Gateway model would benefit clients, by reducing confusion and ensuring more integrated care.
"The Gateway model in Child and Family Services is delivering promising results, with more families being offered early intervention before they get to crisis point.
"This is exactly how we want the Disability Gateway providers to operate - to pinpoint Tasmanians in need and get them the help they require before they become frustrated and disillusioned with the system," Ms O'Connor said.
Ms O'Connor said that the reforms focused on providing the best possible support for clients by cutting down the confusion about where to turn to for help.
"Clients can now call the Gateways which will then point then guide them in the right direction, instead of having to navigate a myriad of numbers and services."
Mission Australia will manage the Gateway Services in Tasmania's North West and South East while Baptcare will take on responsibility in the North and South West.
The Disability Gateway Service will:
Provide a visible and transparent point of entry into specialist disability services
Provide information and advice
Undertake an intake and assessment function
Monitor the level of need for services
Complete referrals to other agencies which can best meet the individual's need
Provide short term crisis response when required
Undertake data collection for future planning
Perform active monitoring and Local Area Coordination.
Ms O'Connor said that Disability Services had been holding information sessions across the state - Referrals to Gateway Services can be made by calling 1800 171 233 and speaking to a Gateway staff member or visiting the Gateway in your area.
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