Enabling Good Lives is a partnership between the disability sector and government agencies aimed at long term transformation of how disabled people and families are supported to live everyday lives.
The initiative brings funding from the Ministries of Health, Education and Social Development together in a single package that can be used flexibly, whether it is for employment, education, training, sports, recreation or connections within the community.
Initially a Demonstration in Christchurch for disabled school leavers with Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funding, Enabling Good Lives will extend to other disabled people in Canterbury throughout 2014 and 2015.
Long-term this approach may be used as the basis for changing the disability support system in New Zealand, alongside the New Model for Supporting Disabled People (Links to a subpage). The Enabling Good Lives and New Model demonstrations will be presented to Cabinet in 2016.
Background on the initiative
In 2007 a Social Services Select Committee inquiry heard that people with disabilities often felt they had little control over the services they received. Funding was also found to be relatively inflexible.
In 2011, a group of people from the disability sector reviewed day options for disabled people and concluded a fundamental shift was needed to give disabled people greater choice and control over their supports and their lives. Their report was entitled ‘Enabling Good Lives’.
In September 2012 the Ministerial Committee on Disability Issues agreed fundamental change to the disability support system was needed. The Christchurch disability community and sector were then invited to develop a proposal for demonstrating Enabling Good Lives in Canterbury.
Another initiative that arose from the 2007 inquiry is the Ministry of Health’s New Model for Supporting Disabled People which has been demonstrating Choice in Community Living in Auckland and Waikato, along with Enhanced Individualised Funding and Local Area Coordination in the Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty. Elements of these demonstrations will be used in helping to establish Enabling Good Lives in Christchurch.
How Enabling Good Lives Started - The August 2011 Report
Government has recognised the need and broad direction for change to the disability support system through the New Zealand Disability Strategy and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Government response to the Social Services Select Committee inquiry into the quality of care and service provision for people with disabilities.
In 2011, the Minister for Disability Issues, Hon Tariana Turia, invited the Ministries of Social Development and Health to work with an independent working group of disability sector stakeholders to develop a ‘clean sheet‘ approach to community participation and day services for disabled people. The process of meetings and discussions over several months was facilitated by the Office for Disability Issues. The report from the independent working group was completed in August 2011. In October 2011, Minister Turia asked officials to engage with the disability sector on how to take the "Enabling Good Lives" approach further.
In 2012, the Ministries of Social Development and Health worked with disability sector organisations to test the "Enabling Good Lives" approach in Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton in consultation.