Why it pays as an independent support worker to understand the NDIS and Consumer Directed Care

independent worker research

Many of the clients you’re supporting are likely to already have, or be waiting for Government funding. As an independent worker, it pays to understand how government funding works. You don’t need to be an expert, but a basic understanding could help if you meet a potential new client who might need a helping hand to come on board.

What type of funding might they have?

People looking to engage support are likely to be accessing funding via the NDIS if they have a disability or Home Care Packages for older Australians.  

The idea behind the NDIS and Home Care Package funding is that people who need support should be able to access it on their own terms. One way they can do this is by finding and hiring people like you through our online social platform. By hiring you directly, they can get more hours of support for their funding, rather than spending a bulk of it on administration fees that they might pay a traditional provider. That means more support for your clients, and more work for you!

But not everyone knows about Better Caring. By being able to explain how it all works, you can bring clients to the platform and grow your business.

What is the size of the opportunity for my business?

Some key facts about aged care:

  • In 2017, people over 65 years represented 15.3 percent of the population. By 2056, this will have grown to 21.8 percent. Four out of five older Australians receive government funding and as of June 2017, 70,000 of them were receiving in-home care.
  • Thanks to Consumer Directed Care legislation, introduced less than a year ago, consumers get to choose how they spend their Home Care Package funding and who comes into their homes to support them.
  • Research by the Australian Institute of Health Innovation shows that accessing home care and social support reduces the risk of entry into permanent residential care by 6% per additional hour of service per week.
  • The aged care workforce needs to grow from 366,000 in 2016 to 980,000 by 2050.

In disability:

  • The Productivity Commission in February 2017 said that the current growth of the disability workforce is too slow to keep up with demand.
  • The NDIS is working towards a target of 475,000 NDIS participants by 2019-20.
  • The disability support workforce needs to be boosted by 60,000 more workers by 2019.

As NDIS participants get their funding and consumers in aged care start to embrace what Consumer Directed Care has to offer, there will be more demand than supply for workers. This is where you come in!

Why have the conversation?

By understanding clients’ options, you can explain how they can access more support on their terms. Our case studies show that clients more than double their hours of care with the same funding. But that’s only half the story. Clients finally feel like they’re receiving support on their terms, to allow them to live more independently, get out and about and achieve their goals. Workers we speak to say things like:

  • “From a cost perspective, I can provide more flexible, extended care. I’m able to contribute to clients’ quality of life.”
  • “Now, the balance of power has shifted; I’m directed and guided by the person I support, negotiation is between me and them. I get to provide true person-centred support.’
  • “We have more flexibility and we don’t have to ask permission. “

How does it work?

  • Clients can find and hire workers through the platform. They can also bring on board anyone who already supports them, including Allied Health professionals.
  • Clients with a Home Care Package can self-manage by hosting their package with an approved partner provider. They then find and hire workers directly and the provider pays.
  • Clients with NDIS funding can use Better Caring whether they are self-managed, plan managed or even NDIA-managed. Like Home Care Packages, they may need to host their funding with an NDIA-registered provider. We can even help them connect with one.
  • Better Caring can work with plan managers and coordinators of supports, or the client can do all this themselves.

If you have a potential client who is not sure whether they can work with Better Caring, you can connect them with our team on 1300 65 73 65.