2058. Hon Alison Xamon to the Minister for Disability Services:
I refer to the closure of the People with Exceptionally Complex Needs Program (PECN) and the transition to the Adults with Exceptionally Complex Needs Program service model, and I ask:
(a) how does the new service model differ from (PECN);
(b) which agency coordinates the Adults with Exceptionally Complex Needs Program;
(c) which agencies are directly involved in the program;
(d) how many FTE are funded to run the program;
(e) how much state government funding was provided to run the program in 2018–19; and
(f) how many participants are currently in the program?
Hon Stephen Dawson replied:
The People with Exceptionally Complex Needs (PECN) program, which ceased in July 2017, was a centralised program consisting of two coordinators providing direct service delivery to clients with exceptionally complex needs. Access to the program was via periodical requests for referrals.
Regional Intensive Support (RIS) Coordination formally commenced in October 2017 which includes the provisions of support to people with exceptionally complex needs. RIS Coordinators are based in local offices and provide a combination of direct service delivery, consultation, capacity building of the Department of Communities’ (Communities) Local Coordinators and service system issue resolution. Access to RIS Coordinators is via direct referrals by Communities’ Local Coordinators and practical support is provided to this team by a centralised Intensive Support Practice Leader (Practice Leader).
The Practice Leader attends the Adults Exceptionally Complex Needs Interagency Executive Committee (the Committee), formerly known as the PECN Interagency Executive Committee before July 2017. The Terms of Reference were amended in June 2017 to reflect the change in purpose from a committee that provided direct oversight and support to the two PECN Coordinators to a committee which focused on resolving systemic issues that individuals with complex support needs might experience, as well as providing direction to the Practice Leader.
(b) The Department of Communities.
(c) In addition to Communities, agencies represented include the Mental Health Commission, the Department of Justice (Office of the Public Advocate and Corrective Services), the Department of Health (including South Metropolitan, North Metropolitan, East Metropolitan and WA Country Health Services) and the National Disability Insurance Agency.
(d) The Committee relies upon the work undertaken by various staff in the above-mentioned agencies. RIS Coordination, as part of the WA National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) model was initially established with eight FTE, comprising one Practice Leader and seven RIS Coordinators. As the transfer and transition to the NDIS in WA progresses, the need for RIS Coordinators decreases with five FTE filled at present.
(e) In 2018–19, $907,163 was provided, as well as one-off discretionary funding of $50,000 by the Mental Health Commission for RIS Coordinators to broker services that will assist participants to overcome systemic gaps.
(f) There are currently approximately 40 active participants.