Page 1644 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005

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For those students with disabilities who are not able to immediately seek employment, training, or further education, the ACT Government offers a Post School Options (PSO) Program.

The PSO program works with young people and their families to further develop their plans for the future, and may also provide short-term transitional funding (up to three years) to assist people with disabilities to make this transition.

Respite Services include centre based respite and in-home respite and provide short term and time limited breaks for families and other voluntary care givers while providing a positive experience for the person with a disability.

Individual Funding

The ACT Government also offers individualised funding (also known as an Individual Support Package (ISP)) which enables people to develop their own support arrangements to meet individual circumstances. The ACT Government allocates $4.215 million in ISP’s annually (brokered through non government agencies).

In 2004/05 Disability ACT conducted a Disability Support Funding Process, which enabled school leavers to apply for the PSO program, specialist disability services and ISP’s (or a combination of all three) through a single application process. An additional $1.576 million was allocated through this process, which assisted 56 people with disabilities in need, including 12 school leavers and their families. A further three school leavers with lesser support needs were offered the assistance of Post School Options transitional planning services but were not prioritised for additional funding.

(Question No 292)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, upon notice, on 10 March 2005:

(1) Was $1 million allocated in the 2000-01 Budget Paper No 3, page 59, provided for “appropriate and integrated clinical and community services for children with complex behavioural and support issues, in particular, for children with autism spectrum disorder and cerebral palsy” and to “also provide funding for therapy services for children in special schools.”; if so, did the Department use half the allotted funds to increase the number of therapy staff providing services to special schools;

(2) In each year over the last ten years, and for each of the ACT special schools (a) how many therapy staff provided services to students at each school, (b) how many staff providing services at each special school were qualified in each allied health discipline, (c) how many students overall received therapy services, (d) how much therapy did each discipline provide, (e) how many students with autism received therapy services at each school funded by the Department and (f) how much therapy did each discipline type provide for these students;

(3) In each year since 2000, what increase in therapy services for students with autism is due to the budget initiative of 2000-01 referred to in part (1);

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