NSW piloted a direct funding project in the Attendant Care Program (ACP). It provided support to individuals with physical disabilities with a range of tasks and activities to allow them to live and participate in their communities. The evaluation compared three ACP funding options, which differ in who employs the attendant carers, who receives the funding from the government and who is responsible for management and reporting:
- Employer model – the service provider is the attendant carers’ employer; in some organisations, clients can chose to participate in some attendant carer management decisions, such as recruitment. Government pays the funds to the service provider and the service provider is accountable to DADHC for the management of funds and reporting. Thirty two service providers are registered with the government to provide this model.
- Cooperative model – the client is the attendant carers’ employer; the service provider supplies administrative and management support. Government pays the funds to the service provider and the service provider is accountable to the government for the management of funds and reporting. One provider offers this model.
- Direct funding – the client is responsible for all attendant carer employment and management. Government pays the funds directly to the client, who is accountable to Government for the management of funds and reporting.
The pilot project provided funds directly to ACP clients for the direct purchase of personal care services with the intention of providing greater control over the choice and management of the support they receive as well as to promote more flexible and responsive services for clients. The longitudinal evaluation measured change in outcomes for clients, families, workers and organisations.