Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Delivering more for people with disabilities

A new funding model for disability employment services has the capacity to significantly improve services and provide ongoing jobs for people with disabilities the Acting Minister for Family and Community Services, Larry Anthony, said today.

“An evaluation, commissioned by the Department of Family and Community Services, shows high levels of ongoing employment that have been achieved under the Case Based Funding Trial.

“The trial involves 7,000 job seekers and over 300 services, shows that:

  • 63% of job seekers have been placed in a job;
  • 44% were employed for 13 weeks;
  • 33% continued to be employed for 26 weeks; and
  • 24% of job seekers employed in open employment were working full time.

“We have been trialing Case Based funding since November 1999. This funding model ensures job seekers with a disability have their needs individually assessed when they seek specialist support to look for and retain work.

“It also means disability employment services are funded according to the level of support they need to supply to clients. This better recognises the varying and individual needs of job seekers.

“This interim evaluation report confirms that case based funding has not only maintained access and outcomes when compared to the current funding model, but has also boosted the quality of service, especially for high needs clients.

“Most providers support case based funding, seeing it as a fairer system than the existing funding arrangements, increasing accountability and providing them with greater incentives to assist ‘hard to place’ job seekers.

“Case based funding and the new Quality Assurance System will together ensure people with a disability receive more targeted assistance, leading to much better employment outcomes.

“People with a disability deserve a much better deal in all aspects of their lives. Providing all Australians with the best possible chances to participate is a priority of the Coalition Government.

“This interim evaluation will help to set the direction for future reforms to improve employment assistance for job seekers with a disability,” Mr Anthony said.

The final report is expected to be available in August 2002.