Last week, the Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt announced that the Older Persons Advocacy Network would receive $25.7 million over three years to supply advocacy services under the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP). In NSW, Seniors Rights Service is the only organisation to receive funding under this program.
NCOSS is pleased to see the NACAP continue and acknowledges the value of a streamlined approach in this context and the vital work of the Seniors Rights Service.
However, we urge a different approach when the allocation of funding for the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) is determined. In the disability context, different work is undertaken by organisations which perform individual advocacy and individual advocates assist people with disability to navigate problems arising in their daily life, while systemic advocates work to make systems and processes fairer so that fewer individual problems arise. Both of these types of work are vital.
With the transfer of NSW disability advocacy funding to the Commonwealth by June 2018, all disability advocacy and information organisations lack certainty of funding. In this context, the NDAP represents a crucial opportunity for these organisations to continue their vital work for people with disability. With the NDIS highlighting the crucial importance of advocacy, NDAP funding needs to be expanded and spread among a variety of organisations.