Today the NDIA released tenders for Local Area Coordination (LAC) and Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Partners in 16 roll out regions. Funding is available to June 2019 to deliver services in the ACT, as well as identified areas of Queensland, Victoria and South Australia that have people scheduled to transition into the National Disability Insurance Scheme in 2017.
Grants will be offered for LAC Services in 16 Service Areas and in 9 Service Areas and the whole State of South Australia for ECEI Services, as follows:
Who can apply?
After the NDIA awarded LAC contracts across NSW to Uniting and St Vincent De Paul with no competitive process, the question everyone will have for these tenders is: Will future LACs also be allowed to be Registered Providers of NDIS Supports?
The answer is clear: No.
“An Applicant which applies to deliver LAC Services, must not be a Registered Provider of Supports as defined under section 9 of the NDIS Act”. Applicants are also not permitted to sub-contract to Registered Providers.
This is not the case for ECEI Partners, who may also be Registered Providers of Supports, where they can demonstrate a mitigation approach to manage the actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest or where no alternative providers exist.
What will Local Area Coordination do?
The purpose of the LAC service is to both help people with disability to engage with the NDIA and their funded supports to make the most of the NDIS as well as improve inclusion of people with disability across the community. The tender specifies the role of the LACs as:
Link people to the NDIS, including taking eligibility enquiries and working with Participants to develop Plans and undertake Plan Reviews;
Link people with disability, their families and carers to information and support in the community; and
Work with their local community to make sure it is more welcoming and inclusive for people with disability.
Local Area Coordinators also guide people in their options for putting their Plan into action and building capacity to self-manage the supports set out in their Plan.
What will Early Childhood Early Intervention Partners do?
The ECEI Partner will be required to be the first contact point for Scheme supports. NDIA Chairman, Bruce Bonyhady describes its function as “providing a wide gateway for parents who believe their child has a disability in a calm and supportive environment in which the functional impairments and needs of each child can be determined.”
The ECEI Partner will discuss with the family the most appropriate supports that would benefit the child. This includes information and referral to other mainstream supports
The ECEI Partner is required to assess whether a child requires initial support or whether the child requires more intensive early intervention supports. If the latter, the ECEI Partner will be required to assist the family with their access to the Scheme and recommend a detailed plan outlining the goals and identifying the reasonable and necessary supports required to assist in achieving them.
For more information on the NDIA’s ECEI approach, see https://myplace.ndis.gov.au/ndisstorefront/html/sites/default/files/documents/Research/NDIA-ECEI-Approach-1.pdf
Can one organisation apply to be both ECEI and LAC Partners?
It will be possible for an applicant to be both the LAC and the ECEI Partner in a Service Area and applicants may be successful in more than one Service Area.
We were surprised to hear in North East Melbourne that the Access Partners role had been awarded to the LAC and are interested to see how these two functions co-exist in the same organisation.
How will the funding work?
The NDIA will be paying the provider of LAC services directly for the provision of these services – the funding is not attached to participants in the way that other NDIS funding is delivered.
For the period January 2017 – June 2019, the value of the LAC services are as follows:
The average funding available per participant is $1,270 per participant. This figure is slightly lower than the $1,550 average of the NEMA, Central Highlands and Loddon Mallee LAC tenders.
Tender next steps
Responses to the tender are due by 8 September 2016.
The NDIA will be holding an online briefing session on the tender on Monday 15 August.
The tender documents are available on the DSS website
Update 1 September
The National Disability Insurance Agency has extended the Closing Date for applications for NDIS Partners in the Community Program until Thursday 22 September 2016 at 2.00pm AEST.
The extension to the Closing Date applies to all Services and all locations and is in response to a change in the data for Early Childhood Early Intervention services in South Australia.
More info: https://myplace.ndis.gov.au/ndisstorefront/news/community-grant-round-extended.html