by Rory Brooks, Advocate

On Thursday 8 March, I attended Funding Futures in the NDIS Context – It’s a Jigsaw¬†at NCOSS. A lot of organisations from around the state attended, even as far as Broken Hill. The aim was to review services in the Advocacy field, upcoming funding shortfalls and plans for the future of customers needing Advocacy.

A lot was highlighted, however, it was felt by all that Advocacy services could not continue to function without the injection of money by Government, whether that was State or Commonwealth money.

It was interesting to hear from organisations that provide an Advocacy Service as part of their daily operations, but in fact were not Advocates. Some interstate organisations have been inventive with their blend of Advocacy and Support Co-Ordination to arrive at a model which they see as sustainable in the Advocacy service and an income stream. Advocacy for customers is free and not built into NDIS packages.

There was a lot of discussion about an Advocacy/Support Co-Ordination model, those for and those against. It is something that is worthy of further investigation based on the success another Organisation is having with it.

Since attending, there have been many many representations to the NSW Government about Advocacy funding and recently Government has agreed to refund services for Advocacy until 2020. That decision is most welcome.