Help us End Supported Independent Living

According to the NDIS website Supported Independent Living (SIL) “is help with and/or supervision of daily tasks to develop the skills of an individual to live as independently as possible. These are the supports provided to a participant in their home, regardless of property ownership, and can be in a shared or individual arrangement.  Assistance provided to a participant will be included as part of their plan depending on the level of support they require to live independently in the housing option of their choice.

Providers working with participants who require SIL supports in their plans can use the Provider SIL Pack to assist them in developing the necessary quote and supporting documentation.

The Provider SIL Pack contains a calculation tool and submission templates that help providers to detail and cost supports to help people build their capacity to live more independently.”

The problems with SIL is that it has been a barrier to people having the ‘choice and control’ that has been the overused and misused slogan for the NDIS since its inception.  The fact that the NDIA created this Provider SIL Pack is an indication that it targets providers more than offering ‘choice and control’ for the participants.

SIL has become the mechanism for the proliferation of the archaic block funded group home.  Rather than enabling a person to live ‘independently in their home’, it is in reality shared care in a congregated setting, often not of the person’s choosing but instead organised, negotiated, and created by the NDIS system and the service providers.

A lack of truthful information about the inflexibility of SIL, has reinforced the misconception that a person with high and or complex support needs must therefore enter into a SIL arrangement.

Even when a person was formerly living alone and supported for 24 hours of support, 7 days per week under the state system, NDIA Planners are pressuring unwilling participants into SIL arrangements and costing Plans accordingly. 

In most instances, the avoidance of information about alternatives and benefits of accessing the NDIS with a non-SIL funded Plan, and lack of transparency regarding the over-inflation of SILS quotes is forcing more people back to the archaic model of group or shared home living.

If a participant wants to share with another person and articulates a desire to share some supports with their chosen housemate, (ie: overnight support only, or a combination of one or two activities), each person is very possibly able to obtain a Plan that is not only going to meet their needs but also be less restrictive, more flexible should either housemate wish to relocate, and is possibly more efficient and effective.

Some providers are ‘padding out’ their SILS quotes which would more than adequately support the individual without sharing should they wish to live alone.  Moreover, a large number of service providers and some support coordinators are sharing documents publicly stating that ‘vacancies’ exist in houses and are actively seeking to fill them.

This would suggest that participants do NOT want to live in such arrangements despite shared documents and advertising proclaiming that individuals are seeking to share with like-minded housemates.

The separation of roles of landlord from delivery of supportshas not occurred even though the NDIS has been in various parts of the nation for several years.  The rules of the NDIS has not mitigated the issues that arise if a person makes a complaint about either their residency or their support.  People are still threatened with eviction be it in a group home, a hostel or a boarding house.

The advent of the NDIS was meant to ameliorate the problems and abuses that have occurred historically and repeatedly in group living arrangements.  As the Productivity Commission Report states in 2011 that “ vulnerability increases the risk of harm (under current arrangements and under the proposed NDIS), and arises in a number of ways: … is often delivered in private settings, such as people’s homes or group homes, where inadequacies are less likely to be detected by others”.  The PC Report goes on to suggest that “the NDIA and DSOs could help people to make informed choices and purchases by providing information, advice and support. This effectively empowers people with a disability themselves to both discipline and reward service providers through their consumption decisions. In turn, this facilitates greater responsiveness to consumers amongst service providers and competition to deliver better quality.”

SIL is either not being implemented in the manner that the NDIA envisioned because Planners have neither the authority or the skills to imagine better, or SIL has been designed purely to save costs yet is not necessarily making those savings and the benefit has been mainly increased revenue for service providers.

We urge all parties, the new government of Australia, the NDIA, members of COAG and the Disability Reform Council to #SayNotoSILS.

#NothingAboutUsWithoutUs #MyLifeNoSILS

Please sign and share this petition widely to pressure all parties to ensure the Choice and Control to ALL NDIS Participants and for the NDIS to be the system that was promised.   If you can please send an email to your local state and federal members.  We have drafted the following as a guide for you, or simply copy and paste…