The South Australian Government is taking an innovative approach to delivering support to children with disabilities under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals CEO Melina Morrison today welcomed the decision by the South Australian Government to go ahead with a $47 million employee-led mutual as a better alternative to traditional privatisation that will ensure quality and continuity of care for recipients.
Under a new agreement, which is supported by the Federal Government, an employee-led non-profit mutual will become the Partner in the Community delivering Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services for South Australia for the National Disability Insurance Agency.
The agreement came after the South Australian Government consulted with the sector and took advice from the BCCM.
“This truly innovative move marks the first time in Australia that a government has supported the establishment of an employee-owned social welfare business,’’ Ms Morrison said.
“The South Australian Government is to be congratulated for thinking outside the box and adopting the hybrid, mutual method of delivering these vital services, instead of going down the track of full privatisation.
“I would also like to thank the Federal Coalition Government and commend their bipartisan support of the move by the ALP-led South Australian Government.”
The BCCM advised the NDIA that the business did not have to be devolved to the private sector.
“Our advice was that overseas experience show that staff-led mutual models facilitated high levels of satisfaction among workers and the families of children with disabilities as well as improved outcomes for the children themselves.
“This arrangement also ensures continuity of care and trust in the delivery of early intervention services for those in need – children with disability and developmental delay.
“We are thrilled the South Australian Government has followed our advice and believe the model shows the way forward for other organisations delivering social welfare in Australia,” she said.
Commonwealth Ministers for the Department of Social Services media release: $47 million for Early Childhood Early Intervention Services in South Australia
SA Government Department for Communities and Social Inclusion media release: Employee-led mutual to secure NDIS services for children and allied health jobs in South Australia

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