Families and Carers, and the NDIS
Families and carers have an important role in the lives of people with disability. The NDIA recognises the importance of the caring role and aims to work with families and carers to support family wellbeing.
Families and carers may be supported in their caring role through a range of supports in a participants’ NDIS plan. This support can be offered directly and indirectly. Supports that enable sustainable caring by family members may include;
- Family support and counselling due to a family members' disability
- Building the skills and capacity of other family members to manage the impact of a participant's disability on family life
- Supports that increase the participant's independence, as well as supports that enable the participant to enjoy social and community activities independent of their informal carers.
- Supports aimed at increasing the sustainability of family caring arrangement, including personal care and domestic assistance related to the person's disability.
- Requesting a support worker to be included in family outings to provide assistance and guidance for the person with disability, especially where the family has other children to supervise and engage with. This allows for the person with disability to be included in family events and outings and provides opportunity for social participation.
Carers Australia has developed a fact sheet on the emotional and practical considerations of succession planning and the NDIS, which can provide additional support with NDIS pre-planning activities in helping carers to identify where they and the person they care for, may require support into the future.
The Carer Checklist can help you think about the type of care and support you currently provide for the person you care for and may help you consider all aspects of the person with disability’s needs. This document is useful in helping you prepare for the planning meeting and can be provided to the planner.
As a Carer, you have the option to submit a Carer Statement or request a separate interview to support the person you care for during the planning meeting. This could be particularly important for carers of people with psychosocial disability. It can provide additional insight into the impact a person’s mental health condition has on their ability to participate in everyday activities and on the wellbeing of the family.
A carer statement (in written or verbal form) may include:
- How the caring role affects you
- Whether you are able and willing to keep caring for the person with disability in the same way into the future, and what the impact of your caring role has on your own personal needs and goals, (for example - work; study; travel; social, cultural or religious engagement activities )
- Other informal supports the person with disability has, such as family or friends
- Any other information that would be important for the NDIA to know when assessing supports required.
Two carer statement examples have been developed for your reference:
A Nominee makes decisions about the NDIS plan on behalf of the participant.
Nominees are there to:
- Include the participant in decision-making and support them to make decisions
- Help the participant increase their decision-making skills
- Make decisions in the participant’s best interest, representing their wishes.
You do not have to become a nominee unless the participant asks, or it is required. A legal guardian who is making decisions on behalf of a participant will be appointed as the NDIS nominee.
There are two types of nominees:
- Correspondence Nominees – can undertake most activities on behalf of a participant except preparing or making changes to a plan and managing the funds.
- Plan Nominee – can undertake all activities on behalf of the participant but certain activities can be limited if appropriate.
Participants under 18 years will have a child representative, generally a parent. The child’s representative will make decisions on their behalf. In some cases, an older child will not need a representative and may choose to represent themselves. In these circumstances, the NDIA must be satisfied that the older child has the capacity to think, reason and understand what is being asked and discussed during the planning meeting.
For specific information regarding NDIS Operational Guidelines and Nominees, please click here