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Goldfields group sets new standard
20/07/2000 12:29 PM
The Goldfields is setting the standard for support for people with disabilities and their families by developing a whole-of-community approach to tackle local issues at a local level.
Disability Services Minister Paul Omodei, who visited the region earlier this week, said he had been very impressed by the Goldfields Community Steering Group, which was working to expand the range of services for local people with disabilities.
The group was established last year following a review of services by the Disability Services Commission’s Country Services Directorate.
“This is an excellent example of a collaborative, community-based approach to problem-solving,” Mr Omodei said.
“People with disabilities, families and carers and government and non-government service providers have come together to address issues of common concern.
“They have identified areas of need, and are moving to address that need by developing important partnerships with other sections of the community.”
Mr Omodei acknowledged that accommodation options and responsive and timely respite services had been identified as two of the most significant disability issues in the Goldfields.
He said the Community Steering Group was working to:-
establish a new non-government organisation, OPAL, to manage accommodation options;
develop a partnership with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder to increase out-of-home respite options;
establish a support register to attract and retain quality support workers to the Goldfields; and -
establish a “home away from home” in partnership with the Ministry of Housing and the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder for people with disabilities.
Mr Omodei said this united approach reflected the direction of the Disability Services Commission, which was working towards strengthening families and increasing community capacity to better support people with disabilities and their families.
He said the Commission’s new family support and respite funding, coupled with the holistic approach to service provision by the community steering group, would go a long way towards resolving many of the difficulties faced by some families.
Mr Omodei also briefed the group on the additional funds made available for disability services through the Commission’s business plan ‘Making a Difference’, which saw a $34.5 million boost for disability services from 2000-2005.
Media contact: Hugh Ryan - 9213 6700