The Ministry of Health has published a report as a result of targeted engagement on the Government’s intention to change Funded Family Care.
On 27 September 2018, the Government announced plans to change the Funded Family Care policy, including its intention to repeal Part 4A of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 (the Act).
Targeted stakeholder engagement has been carried out with affected families, care organisations and other stakeholders, coordinated by independent facilitator Jo Esplin from Sapere Research Group.
The report Targeted Engagement on Funded Family Care and Paid Family Care is now available on the Ministry's website and includes results from the online survey.
In summary, there was strong support to:
- repeal Part 4A
- enable payment of spouses and partners of people eligible for Funded Family Care
- for family carers to receive equivalent pay to other care and support workers
- support for a simple process, with more choice and flexibility.
“Over 900 affected families and care organisations made their views known in meetings and an online survey,” says Mathew Parr, the Ministry of Health’s Acting Deputy Director-General, Disability.
"Hearing the direct thoughts of the people who are affected by Funded Family Care was incredibly important, and underpins our commitment to work with those affected by the legacy of Funded Family Care and ensure any replacement works as well as possible for them."
"We know there is a huge amount of investment in this issue, and this stage was about hearing from the people directly. This engagement has been invaluable, and I thank everyone who gave feedback," says Mr Parr.
“It is now on the Ministry to ensure any advice we give to Government is an accurate representation of this feedback, and honours the experiences of those people.”
"Many challenging issues have been raised and need to be properly considered," says Mr Parr.
Funded Family Care allows payment of people to care for resident family members assessed as having high or very high needs relating to disability, long term chronic health conditions, mental health and addiction and aged care needs. Funded Family Care policies are administered by the Ministry of Health (Disability Support Services) and District Health Boards.
Part 4A of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 provides that the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards have family care policies allowing persons to be paid for providing health and/or disability services to family members. It also prevents complaints to be made to the Human Rights Commission and the Courts regarding breaches of the Human Rights Act 1993 relating to family care policies.
The 27 September 2018 announcement (Making Funded Family Care fairer) is available on the Beehive website.
Opportunities for further engagement, including with Māori and Pasifika are being considered by the Ministry for early 2019.