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DSS System Transformation Co-Design Group aims to keep it simple

After a difficult first few weeks – the co-design group charged with transforming New Zealand’s Disability Support Services is beginning to gather some real momentum.

Two more workshops were held in Wellington, and the latest from the group is positive as synergy and shared visions align.

Past lessons based on research and insights led the group to determine that simplicity and shared visions were key to the design process. With a paper due for cabinet reading by mid June, the group scheduled two days of workshops back-to-back beginning next week where work will continue.

Information delivery and accountability is a key design challenge for the overhaul – but it doesn’t end there.

Another big challenge for the overhaul is how to ensure that people and families have a simpler process. That process includes everything from the initial contact with support providers, to the needs assessments, and crucially, the implementation of support.

Putting the person firmly in the driving seat of this process is one thing, but finding a way of doing it that both works for them, and the new system, is a diverse challenge. Some people may enjoy making all the decisions, whilst others may need assistance, especially with the variety of support styles and organisations currently in the sector.

Some people don’t know what services like Enabling Good Lives, Individualised Funding, and Community Residential Support actually are.

The group acknowledges that whatever happens, support services must fit with the person and their families. Every situation is different – so it’s great that the group agree on that.

One of the arguments that co-design group may also need to take on is service provision – and where that fits moving forward. In New Zealand; there are many different organisations going after Government contracts, all based on providing support to people with disabilities. Some of those organisations continue to struggle financially, and their future remains unknown.

Is this just a part of the challenging sector that continues to undergo change after change?

While positive and full of momentum; the co-design group still find themselves with a lot of challenges ahead. Perhaps the biggest challenge is to make sure that everything is fitted into conversation.

The next meeting is scheduled for May 16th.

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