Friday, August 13, 2010

Who to vote for??

For those who live in other parts of the world, you may not be aware that in Australia we are in the middle of an election campaign (unfortunately).

Both sides of parliament have made some promises regarding funding for disabilities - however I still don't know who is offering the best package, and which party is most likely to support the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The Labour Party has offered $6000 a year to families to spend on early intervention.  Beauty I thought.  I could use that for private OT to deal with Ashlea's sensory issues.  I could use that for more speech therapy.  I could use that for.....any number of things.

This week I got a letter in the mail from the RIDBC saying that they are very supportive of this initiative.  I was wondering if they were hinting at who they thought we should be voting for.  Anyway, that wasn't the part of the letter that bothered me.  As I read further, they revealed that if this were brought in they would start to charge us for their services - and isn't that great we'd all be able to use our $6000 to pay for it.


How can they not see that families like mine have other needs as well?  Why would I support them in this push if it is going to mean that I end up getting charged for a service that I now get for free?  There would be no net gain for me at all - I would get the same level of service from them and still have no money for the extra services that Ashlea needs.

I was under the impression that they already get government funding for each child on the service anyway.  Isn't that double dipping???

I'm a little bit outraged, and think I will have to take a leaf out of Di's book and start writing some letters. It is just so disappointing as they are by far my favourite service and have done absolutely amazing work with Ashlea.  I know they are a charity and struggle for funding, but it really feels like a low blow.

I'm not sure if any other services are going to consider doing the same thing.  I asked at the Spastic Centre - sorry Cerebral Palsy Association (YES - finally a name change!!!) - and they hadn't heard of anything like that.

So, letter writers, any ideas on how I should word my letter?


Anonymous said...

I think the amount funded by the government for organisations like RIDBC compared to costs has been dropping eg. govt funds 10K per child, actual costs are 20K per year - shortfall of 10K. I know of EI organisations that have recently introduced a parent co-payment - a sad reality when demand for services are increasing and funds aren't. Not to say it's right but it is understandable...


Sarah said...

I have been dissapointed with RIDBC as they will not help Violet anyway.

It sure does sound like double dipping to me!

When did Spastic Centre change there name? I haven't heard anything about it.

I can not stand our possible PM's but if I have to make a choice as I do, I would rather Julia than Tony. He just looks untrustworthy not to mention his so called policies!

Naomi said...

I got the same letter and have the same feelings as you. We access two services, both of which are going to increase their fees when this funding comes through. That will likely mean that we have to drop one of the services. It just seems crazy. While I understand that they receive limited government funding, I thought the whole idea of this money was to fund things that currently do not get government assistance, like private therapists, extra equipment etc. I feel sick just thinking about it, and kind of hope that the money doesn't eventuate, so that this doesn't happen. One of the services we access just got a bucketload of money from the government, yet they are still going to increase their fees when we get the new money. We currently pay $2000 per year for that "charity" so I hate to think how much more it will be.