Feedback & complaints

If you are unhappy with our service…

It is important that if you are unhappy, you let us know so that we can try to fix the problem.

Call us on 9722 5200.

You can also email us.

Disability Services: ndis@woodville.org.au

Community Initiatives: info@woodville.org.au

Carramar Early Learning: childcare@woodville.org.au

If you are still not happy then there are people that you may wish to contact to help sort out the issue.
If you are unhappy with Woodville, and do not feel that you are resolving your complaint there are many external organisations that can help you, some of these are;

NSW Ombudsman
Phone: 9286 1000
Toll free (outside Sydney metro): 1800 451 524
Web: www.ombo.nsw.gov.au
Email: nswombo@ombo.nsw.gov.au

Commonwealth Ombudsman
Phone: 1300 362 072
Web: ombudsman.gov.au
Email: ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.au

NSW Fair Trading
Phone: 13 32 20
Web: fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Self-Advocacy Sydney
Phone Number: 9622 3005
Email Address: info@sasinc.com.au

Know your rightsClick here to download the The NSW Disability Service Standards.

 

Kirsten Cook and Yvonne Sterling speak with Eliza Barr from Fairfield Advance about NDIS plan funding cuts

If this story interested you, you may also want to read this story

Jason Clare, local member for Blaxland attends forum at Woodville Alliance to discuss NDIS funding issues.

Many NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) participants will be finding themselves meticulously preparing for a plan review. For some, the reality of the NDIS is all too real and they have already received their reviewed plan for the following year.

A number have been shocked to receive funding cuts of 40 to 70 percent, which means a major reduction in the supports they have had for the last year and possibly for many years before that.

                                           Many have lost funding for community outings such as Saturday Leisure Link.

One parent with a son with a disability, was encouraged in her first planning meeting last year with the NDIS to return to work with the assurance that there would be sufficient funding for her son to have the necessary supports. She was shocked that her son’s second plan was reduced by 60%, placing her employment at risk. She has appealed this decision but has been now waiting for 17 weeks for the outcome of her appeal. In the meantime, she has taken the risky but very understandable decision to keep her sons supports at a level which allows her to continue working in the hope of a successful appeal outcome. If the appeal doesn’t restore her sons funding to the previous level, his funding will run out before the end of the planning year and he will have no NDIS supports until his next plan is due.

Woodville has a number of clients who have had similar funding cuts of around 50% in their second plan.  Many struggle with how to make decisions about which supports to cut. A grandmother waiting for hip and knee replacements and facing a 50% plan cut for her granddaughter told us “Reasonable and necessary they are just words NDIA have come up with to justify taking away funding. There is no consistency in anything they do.” Another mother also faced with a 50% funding cut and struggling with whether to cut a weekend once a month social activity which had improved her daughter’s ability to communicate and to make friends or core weekday funding which provided important skills development said, “I feel the NDIS have failed her.”

A parent faced with a $50,000 plan reduction told us “my daughter will be missing out on programs that she attended last year, and they were specifically aimed at achieving and working towards her goals as outlined in her NDIS plan. She will not be able to keep working on her independent living skills, her anxiety issues and communication skills. It may mean I will have to cut down on my days at work to look after her. Will the NDIS pay for my wages?”

Woodville Alliance, like many other providers have been involved in preparing for the NDIS for a number of years and have supported service users with preparing for plan reviews and by attending reviews with families.

“We are perplexed with the inconsistent responses from some of the NDIS plan reviews”, said Woodville’s CEO, Pam Batkin. “These decisions are creating great hardship for some people who have been developing new independence skills and after a year face major reduction in their supports. We have assisted families with the review process, which takes several months, and families are often left in limbo during this period. Sadly, some families have told us that they are very weary of the NDIS process and don’t have confidence in the outcome of a review and some have said they are concerned that a review could see even further cuts to their support services.”

“A positive policy response to assist people who have significant NDIS plan funding reductions over 25% would be to ensure prioritised and speedy reviews that would not leave people in limbo for several months”, recommended Pam Batkin.

 

On Friday 2 March, several NDIS participants who have had significant plan reductions, spoke at a forum with Jason Clare, local member for Blaxland.

Jason spoke in parliament last week, with a focus on funding cuts to NDIS particpants in the Blaxland area. Click here for full speech

Jason Clare has had a follow up meeting at the Bankstown NDIS Office in a bid to bring to this issue to their attention and rectify specific plans with a significant amount of funding cuts compared to the previous year. An update with the outcome will be shared soon.

 

Going through change together: tips for flourishing at High School

Going through change together:
tips for flourishing at High School

By Kylie Mackie, Transitions Coordinator

 

Children often have mixed feelings about starting high school as it’s moving from the familiar to the unknown and a whole new way of doing things. They might be excited, nervous and worried. These worries are all normal. Validate your child’s feelings and be empathetic. Share how nervous and excited you feel when starting something new such as a new job or moving to a new area.

 

Be prepared for ups and downs

Weather the change through this transition period. Many children don’t adapt immediately and there may be tears and moods. It may take a child up to a term to settle and if it takes longer contact their year adviser or home room teacher.

 

Encouragement

Encourage your child to look to the positive side of the move to High School. For example, you could highlight the new opportunities your child will have such as new sports, clubs and subjects.

 

Support them

Seek to make sure your child eats well, gets plenty of physical activity and sleep. The change to high school is likely to make your child more tired at first. Support them to pack their bag the night before and place their timetable on the fridge so you can help them to remember what they need each day.

 

Balance is the key

Children need to complete their homework but they also need down time, after school activities and family time. Helping them to set a routine will assure to create balance.

 

Build their confidence

Finally recognise effort and improvements through this period and praise your child. Try and stay calm. If you’re calm and reassuring you will give your child more confidence that they can get through the tough parts of starting high school.

 

“Take it all one day at a time and enjoy the journey” – Kristi Barlett

 

If you are looking for more support please contact us on 9724 3807 or email kmackie@woodville.org.au

We offer one on one support, Getting ready for High School workshops and parenting programs.

 

https://www.learningpotential.gov.au/starting-high-school-tips-for-a-smooth-transition

Villawood Town Centre Community Forum Feedback Submission

15 January Community Forum,
Villawood Town Centre Urban Design Study

Click on the links below to view the files –

Letter from CEO

Woodville Submission 190118

Villawood Town Centre Consultation Report

Media release 220118

Woodville Alliance Close Down and end of year arrangements

End of year close down dates

Woodville Alliance Head Office and Community Initiatives programs will close at noon on Thursday 21 December and reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Our early learning centre in Carramar  will close at 1pm on Friday 22 December and reopen on Monday 22 January 2018. ( a new kitchen will be installed in the centre during the close down!)

Our disability services will operate during the close down on a reduced scale.

They will not operate on public holidays.

NDIS: Learn about important terms and key phrases

NDIS Glossary in Easy English

Access Request Form: A form you fill in that the NDIA use to decide if you get an NDIS package.

Access requirements: To get the NDIS you must –
• Have a disability that will not go away
• Be less than 65 years old
• Live in Australia
• Be an Australian Citizen or have a special piece of paper saying you can live in Australia

Carer: A person who looks after someone with a disability. A carer is not paid and is usually a family member.

Choice and control: With the NDIS you choose what is important to you. You decide what support you get and who supports you.

Community engagement: Ways people are involved in their community.

Community services: Activities and services that anyone can use. Church, sport clubs, library, groups.

Disability: A disability that will not go away
• Sensory disability like being deaf
• Physical disability
• Intellectual disability
• Psychosocial disability from a mental health issue

Early Childhood Early Intervention – ECEI: Giving children with disability help when they are young to make their life better later on.

Eligibility: Means if you meet the rules of who can get an NDIS package. The NDIS use the Access Request Form to decide if you can get the NDIS.

First plan: Your first NDIS plan that has your goals and what you money and support for.

Formal supports: Support you pay for with your NDIS package

Full scheme roll out: When the NDIS will be available to everyone who is eligible.

Funded supports: Support the NDIS pays for. Support that helps you do daily activities and to reach your goals.

Goals: Things you want to do in the future that will help you have a good life.

Guardian: A person who can legally make choices for a person with a disability.

Informal supports: Support from people in your life like family, friends and neighbours.

Insurance approach: NDIS supports people as early as possible to make life better later on.

Insurance principle: Every Australian who is born with a disability or gets a disability will get the support they need.

Lived experience of disability: Your life experience of having a disability.

Local Area Coordinators (LAC): A person who helps you to write your plan and get an NDIS package. They can help you manage your plan and get supports and services.

Mainstream services: Services that are used by everybody. Such as health, education, housing and employment services.

Market: The people who run services or have things to sell to people with an NDIS package.

Multidisciplinary team: A team of people with different skills working together to support someone on the NDIS.

National Disability Insurance Agency: The government people that run the NDIS.

NDIS National Disability Insurance Scheme: A new way of supporting people with disability and their families.

Nominee: A person who can make decisions for a person that needs help making choices but does not have a parent or guardian.

Participant: A person with disability who gets the NDIS.

Participant Statement: Information about a person on NDIS  • Where they live and who with
• Friends and family
• Supports they get
• What they do day to day
• Their goals

Person with disability: A person who needs help to do things like –
• getting dressed
• getting around
• understanding things
• making friends
• getting a job

Plan: Everyone on the NDIS has their own plan. Your planner writes down a list of the things you need to reach your goals. Your plan says what money and support you will get.

Privacy: The NDIA Privacy Notice tells you –
• What information the NDIA needs to know about you
• The people the NDIA can ask for information about you
• Why the NDIA needs the information
• What the NDIS does with the information

Provider: Someone who runs a service or has things to sell to people getting an NDIS package. People can choose the provider they want to use and change provider if they are not happy. The NDIS has a list of Registered providers.

Psychosocial disability: When a person’s mental health issues cause disability. These people may get NDIS.

Reasonable and necessary: Reasonable means that it is fair. Necessary means you really need it. The NDIS will give money for things that are fair and that you really need to live a good life.

Sector: The businesses and organisations that give services to people with disability. The groups of people that speak up for people with disability.

Self-management (funding): When a person pays providers directly with their NDIS money. A person can manage all of their NDIS money or part of it.

Self-management: How much help a person needs to –
• Do day to day things
• Make choices
• Look after their own money
• Know what to do if they have a problem

Service agreement: A document that explains what supports a provider will give you and how you will pay them.

Supplier: Someone who sells things like equipment to help support a person with disability.

Supports: The things that help a person with disability to do their day to day activities to be part of the community and reach their goals.

Trial phase: The first 3 years of the NDIS. Different ways of doing the NDIS were tried to see which was the best.

Trial sites: The cities and towns where the NDIS was tried to see how it worked.

Workforce: People who work with people with disability.

 

This information has been sourced from: https://www.ndis.gov.au/news/easy-read-word-list.html

 

Together for Better Africulture

The Africultures Festival, held at Wyatt Park, Lidcombe almost didn’t go ahead this year. Why isn’t exactly clear. But thank goodness it did because the one-day event was full of sunshine, music, colour and a cheerful atmosphere that was contagious… even if you were there for work – which was the case for some of the Family Mental Health Support Service (FMHSS) Team at Woodville Alliance.

So why did we get involved in the 2017 Africultures Festival in March?

“To celebrate and appreciate the cultural richness of the African community, understand and raise awareness of African traditions and cultural practices within our local community and engage with community members to hear their stories and views on wellbeing,” said Hoda, the FMHSS Manager.

The Life Foundation, like Woodville Alliance, also set up an information stall at the festival. The Life Foundation supports 298 orphaned children by giving all funds from their sold products back to the foundation and orphaned children across Africa.

Mercy from The Life Foundation

Mercy from The Life Foundation

The Africultures Festival is the largest annual celebration of African culture in Australia. The array of dress, talent, culinary delights and community-focused organisations on the day was dazzling.

Among some of the more than 30 performances and activities on the day were:

  • Africultures Literature Hour
  • Afro Hair Forum
  • Africultures Soccer Tournament
  • Africultures Fashion Parade
  • Igbo Community of Australia Women’s Group
  • Berias Masseque and The Afro-Fusion Band
  • Lisa Viola
Lisa Viola. Credit: Africultures

Lisa Viola. Credit: Africultures

Apart from the fun on offer, why is the Africultures Festival an important event? Kimberly Ray – organiser of the festival’s Literature Hour explains.

For musician Berias, this year’s festival has been the biggest and the best. “I don’t know why,” he said. “Maybe because there’s even more people.”

Berias Masseque and The Afro-Fusion Band. Left to right: Sam, Berias, Bryce and Brendan.

Berias Masseque and The Afro-Fusion Band. Left to right: Sam, Berias, Bryce and Brendan.

The colouring-in corner at the Woodville Alliance stand was a hit with the little ones.

Little Donald at the Woodville Alliance Information Stall, colouring in with Woodville Alliance FMHSS Team Member, Daniel.

Little Donald at the Woodville Alliance Information Stall, colouring in with Woodville Alliance FMHSS Team Member, Daniel.

A girl in traditional costume.

A girl in traditional costume.

Woodville Alliance is a non-government community organisation. We have programs that support young people through positive mental health interventions and programs, school-based activities for children transitioning from primary to high school, a community centre for adults that live in and around South West Sydney, a disabilities/NDIS team, a child-care centre and humanitarian support for newly arrived families.

To find out more, call us on (02) 9722 5200.

Dance Diaries launches

Disability_support_DanceDiaries_PYTI don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.

On Friday 31 March a group of people were treated to the launch of Dance Diaries — a film and dance project which some disAbility Services clients were invited to take part in at the Powerhouse Youth Theatre.

Dance_Diaries_Mother_and_daughterWith a wonderful live performance by the dancers involved with the project and a moving film, these clients of disAbility Services, many of whom do not communicate verbally very much, expressed what ‘home’ means to them.
Dance_Diaries_Linda_Joanne

Choreographer Linda Luke, film maker Martin Fox and sound designer Michael Toisuta collaborated with PYT and invited Woodville to take part.

Thank you for the opportunity it gave our clients to express themselves creatively, attend workshops to develop the concepts, be a part of the creative community and put on a performance for their loved ones.

Dance_Diaries_PYT_opening

Guest blogger Lauren talks EARTH Echoes choir

When we invited Lauren to be a guest blogger for Woodville, Lauren was a valued volunteer. Lauren agreed to share her story of why she volunteers and what the people who attend our disAbility Services program had taught her.

The twist in this tale is that Lauren now works at Woodville Alliance! Building on her academic training, Lauren is undertaking her disability vocational training at Woodville.

This is the story of why Lauren started to volunteer at Woodville…

Lauren brings her knowledge gained whilst studying music to her volunteering role with Woodville’s Earth Echoes choir. But she feels she has been the student in this relationship.

“I started Volunteering with Woodville Alliance disAbility Services after my twin brother started going to Woodville two years ago. At the Christmas parties I watched the Earth Echoes perform with Montclair. I could see so much potential and I wanted to teach these young adults what I have learnt whilst achieving a Bachelor’s Degree in Contemporary Music.

I started teaching them to become performers, on how to draw their audience in, bring emotion to all those around them, to help create their message and showcase what they could do. I started out small knowing they need to learn more skills to bring about their goals and teaching through music was the way to go as that is what they enjoyed and made it easier for them to learn. Montclair agreed.

While teaching them, they themselves have also taught me:

  • Patience — even though I have my brother, who has an intellectual disability, you would think I have patience and buckets of it however I do still get frustrated at him many more times than I’ll actually admit. However the Echoes choir has brought on more patience in me as you have to try to keep their attention on you and be firm so they can learn but not yell at them like you would with a sibling when they refuse to do a task.
  • Courage — It’s hard to go up there on stage and showcase your talent in front of others, I know. However it must be a little more difficult for them because of the challenges they face and I look up to them because of it.

Although I am a teacher of music to them they have also been great friends and every Tuesday they try their best for me when new ideas are created. Thank you Earth Echoes I honestly feel you are the teachers in this relationship.”

Lauren Neilson

Lauren is on Facebook as Lyrical Melodies