On noon on Monday the 9th November, Valmar assumed the full responsibility for the ongoing operations of their first high-support group house for adults with disabilities in Canberra. The house had previously been operated by the ACT Government, but with the advent of the National Disability Insurance Scheme ( NDIS ) in Canberra, the ACT Government elected to step out of all disability service provision and organisations like Valmar have been engaged to take on these houses. A second house moved to Valmar at noon on Wednesday the 11th, with another planned for early December and more throughout the first 8 months of next year.
With many years experience running group houses in Tumut, Gundagai, Yass and Queanbeyan, Valmar decided to register to be one of approximately 30 organisations approved to deliver group home accommodation support through the NDIS in the ACT. Residents with disabilities and their families then had the opportunity to research and interview organisations like Valmar and decide for themselves which organisation to ask or invite to become their new NDIS service provider. Through this process a significant number of houses have elected to engage Valmar to be their provider. The final number is not yet confirmed, but it will possibly end up being almost ¼ of all the houses on offer.
Valmar CEO Hugh Packard said “ the NDIS is all about Choice and Control for people with disabilities and their families, and it is extremely gratifying to see people electing to make the choice to engage Valmar to deliver this vital, group home type of support. We did almost no advertising, hoping and trusting that word of mouth and the solid reputation, networks and relationships we have established over the past decades would work in our favour. Under the NDIS each of the people with disabilities or their families need to enter individual Contracts or Service Agreements with Valmar so we can invoice the NDIS scheme for the services we deliver. This is very different to the way things worked in the past, so meeting with the families, hearing what they want us to do and entering signed agreements with them has been a new, but very worthwhile experience for my staff and I”
Valmar has now opened an office in Tuggeranong to complement and support its growing Canberra operations and already has 12 Canberra based staff, with numbers growing almost daily. Mr Packard said “ our Canberra office, as well as our Queanbeyan and Yass offices will provide some of the functions needed by our staff in the ACT, but most of their support will in reality continue to come from our head office in Tumut and this will always be the case”
Photo Caption: Valmar sign out front of our new Tuggeranong office. Left to right: Antionette Sankey, Kath Rosetta and Lynda Smith.