2017 – The Year That Was
and New Beginnings for 2018
Southern Districts Support team wishes all staff and volunteers a safe and happy festive season and new year!
We would also like to take a moment to celebrate this year’s amazing accomplishments. Over the past 12 to 16 months we have worked hard to diversify areas of funding and service types so that the agency remains strong both financially and operationally during the continued fast paced changes taking place in the community care sector.
What has been achieved in 2017:
Successful application and receipt of 20 Home Care Packages (HCP), commencing services in October 2016. We are now providing home care services to 41 clients, made up of: 16 Level 2, 16 Level 3 and 9 Level 4 packages. SDS has established brokered agreements with other community organisations which are located in Pinjarra, Mandurah, Rockingham and Melville. SDS can provide support to clients with Home Care Package funding living in the following areas: South, East and West Metro regions.
Successful application and approval to provide support to individuals with NDSI and Disability Services funding in the Perth Metro and WA NDIS trial site – Murray Ranges region. SDS commenced offering this new program from October 2016. We now provide support to 67 people with NDIS individualised funding.
SDS still provides services to Home and Community Care (HACC) clients, with approx. 906 clients accessing one or more services from us throughout the year. With SDS becoming an approved provider to deliver HCP and NDIS supports we have been able to offer these new programs to existing HACC clients, enabling them to remain with the agency and retain continuity of care, reducing stress and anxiety for many clients and carers.
In November 2018, our Veterans Home Care tender to provide support to veterans and widows in the South/South East region was successful. With an additional 22 new clients commencing with SDS immediately from 8 January 2018, and then on-going new referrals.
SDS participated in not 1 but 4 audits this year with a 5th scheduled for January 2018:
- COMPLETED: 3 year recertification ISO9001:2008 Quality Management Systems – passed and certification re-issued
- COMPLETED: Aged Care Quality Audit for Commonwealth Home Care Packages – passed with all 18 Outcomes fully met
- COMPLETED: Yearly Food Safety Audit
- CURRENT: WANDIS audit – currently in progress, with the process taking up to 5 weeks
- PENDING: 3 year certification for ISO9001:2015 QMS Risk Management – audit booked for January 2018.
The introduction of new government contracts has also required:
- Review and adjustment of operational practices; significant work has been undertaken to ensure Procura (client management system) complies with each individual government contract and respective reporting requirement, this has meant the establishment of new modules (functions) within the CMS program;
- New policies, procedures and record keeping practices to meet the requirements of each government contract;
- Adjustments to our finance and accounts software program – TABS, and the setting up of new budget management records;
- New financial practices to manage funding criteria and contract compliance, including various financial reporting requirement for SDS Board of Management and Government contracts.
All of which have required office staff to continually change how they work and to apply new operating practices and systems for the various departments we are now starting to see emerge within the agency.
Many of you may have heard that the WA State Government signed two bilateral agreements at the beginning of this year, resulting in the State Government agreeing to the WA Home and Community Care (HACC) program transitioning to the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) by July 2018, and the WA NDIS trial program to remain in place, with WA State Government funding the administration of the program. However, another bilateral agreement was signed in early December confirming that the WANDIS program will transition to the Commonwealth NDIS(A) program by July 2018. The staff in the office can expect another year of operational changes.
Even though there have been a number changes to government contracts and new funding agreements signed between SDSA and the WA State and Federal Governments, we have tried to keep the overall impact to support workers, volunteers, clients and carers to a minimum. We have aimed to ensure clients and carers received a seamless transition from their HACC service to their HCP or NDIS services. We have also tried to keep disruption and confusion to a minimum for support staff as to the type of funded service/s the clients are accessing and how the client should be support.
SDS also commenced of a number of projects this year, some of which are still on-going, these are:
- engagement of consultant Marita Sealey to assist with the gap analysis and establishment of Home Care Package service requirements;
- engagement of consultant Puru Chettri to assist with the gap analysis and identify requirements to deliver NDIS services;
- engagement of consultant Kate Fulton from WAiS. SDS Creating Clarity project – purpose of the project is to identify SDS values, mission and purpose as a service provider in the new community sector space we now finding our selves operating within;
- engagement of consultant Michael Goldsworthy from Australian Strategic Services. Purpose of this project is to strategically align SDS business to respond to sector and government legislative changes. This project will continue until 2020.
As you can see 2017 has been a jam packed year, and now that we have a moment, we wanted to let you know how grateful we are for the tremendous opportunity of working with you and the Team at SDS this year. It has been a pleasure getting meet you all and working with you as we combine our efforts to support people in our local communities. We look forward to heading down the road towards continued success in 2018.
Our SDS family has grown so much this last year and we expect that this will continue into 2018. As I look back over 2017, I am in awe of our amazing SDS Community, everyone’s hard work, creativity, generosity and dedication is remarkable.
We wish each of you and your families a safe and happy festive season and we’re looking forward to working with you in 2018.
With warm regards
Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder
Southern Districts Support