Group homes provide services to people with intellectual disabilities who live in Australia. They are a vital part of the Australian health and social care system, providing quality care and support for those who need it most. However, some questions remain unanswered, and the NDS submission aims to answer these questions and provide support to providers.
Group homes for supported living in Australia are common and continue to be developed at scale. Approximately 25% of SDA places in Australia are in group homes. However, the development of group homes is driven by underlying assumptions and not by research or evidence. These homes were developed in response to pre-NDIS support, which is no longer available.
Supported living in Australia is an option for people with severe disabilities who are unable to live alone. Participants in supported living communities lived in rented social housing in various parts of Melbourne. Most of the participants were receiving disability support pensions. Their average annual income was approximately A$33,326.
Group homes are becoming more commonplace and are currently being developed at a high rate. They currently account for about 25% of SDA places in Australia. However, Group Homes Australia their growth is based on assumptions rather than evidence and research. In addition, the demand for these places is largely driven by pre-NDIS system support. Although the NDIS has separated SDA from SIL, it remains unclear whether the group home model will continue to be a viable option.
The research team also looked at the current operating environment for group homes and addressed several of the questions raised in the issues paper. The history of group homes was also examined, including the impact of different resources and regulatory frameworks on the levels of support provided. The report also included links to resources to encourage group homes to improve their services and support their residents.
Status of intellectually disabled in Australia
There are a number of challenges associated with the status of intellectually disabled people living in group homes. These problems are not limited to financial issues, but also extend to the issues surrounding social inclusion. It is important to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities are included in the design of housing, which includes ensuring that the physical environment is accessible to everyone.
A recent study in Australia looked at the status of people with intellectual disability living in supported living arrangements. The participants were middle-aged individuals with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities and were receiving drop-in support for problem-solving and practical tasks. The results showed that the participants’ quality of life (QOL) was similar to that of those living in group homes, and they were rated mediocre overall. Despite these limitations, the study highlights the benefits of community living for people with intellectual disabilities.
Legal requirements for group homes
Group homes provide temporary and permanent housing for people with social disadvantages or disabilities. The Housing SEPP aims to support more group homes by providing a development approval pathway that complies with relevant planning legislation. Group homes are regulated under Chapter 3 of the Housing SEPP. Earlier, the Affordable Rental Housing SEPP contained planning provisions for group homes. These provisions have now been incorporated into the Housing SEPP.
Group homes have long been a cornerstone of disability services. Over the past 40 years, most governments have provided significant funding and support to people living in shared arrangements. In recent years, these government-run group homes have been transferred to the non-government sector, which is primarily not-for-profit organizations.
Impact of government policy on group homes
The impact of government policy on group homes in Australia is a complex topic. A longitudinal study, conducted by Mansell and colleagues (2013), examined 397 service users in 96 group homes in three Australian states. They compared the outcomes in terms of disability and the domain of choice and control.
The research identified 23 legislative documents that addressed the theme of people living in residential settings. While only a few of these documents were specifically related to people with disabilities, many of them were broadly applicable across the country. The resources cited in the study outlined some key measures taken at the organisational level to improve care.