This review was undertaken to ensure that lessons are identified to improve the process closing of Large Residential Centres and the development of new accommodation services for people with disability.
Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC), Department of Family and Community Services NSW, undertook a Post Implementation Review (PIR) in accordance with the Gateway Review System of the closure of three ADHC Large Residential Centres (LRC): Grosvenor, Peat Island and Lachlan Centres; and the development of new accommodation models at Summer Hill, Hamlyn Terrace (Casuarina Grove), Wadalba (Fig Close) and North Ryde (Norton Road). The aim of the PIR is to ensure that lessons are identified to improve the process of the closure of LRCs and the development of new accommodation services for people with disability. The Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) conducted the review from April to June 2012. The review included: service delivery; sustainability; governance; change management; risk management; affordability and value for money; stakeholder satisfaction; and quality of life.
The redevelopment of all three LRCs aimed to achieve and sustain a better quality of life for people with disability. The Quality of Life Study found that people living at all sites, except for Casuarina Grove, experienced increased quality of life. Change in outcomes for participation, growing and learning, health and wellbeing, social relationships and autonomy were however not consistent between sites. For the future, this implies a greater focus on community inclusion.
The significant lessons from the LRC redevelopment process are to apply a framework that includes:
- taking a person centred approach to accommodation support
- approaching redevelopment as a transformative opportunity for community living
- identifying choices through informed supported decision making and communication
- applying a sophisticated change management approach with families, staff and unions
- using the resources, expertise and successful redevelopment experiences of the disability community to inform the process and frame opportunities of disability accommodation support.
This framework could take lessons from and apply the large body of evidence and experience from the other states and countries in devolution, especially England and Canada.
The framework requires a capacity development approach to change with all stakeholders (ADHC central and regional managers, staff, families, people with disability and community members), including allowing adequate time and resources for developing understanding of and comfort with large and small scale decision making.
Authored by Karen R. Fisher, Sandra Gendera, Friederike Gadow, Deborah Lutz, Rosemary Kayess, Ariella Meltzer and Sally Robinson.