More options for Barossa Leisure Options clients

Barossa Leisure Options (BLO) clients will have a greater choice of services in 2017 as new disability service providers prepare to move into the region.

After 22 years of providing quality, diverse and unique activities and experiences for people with disability, the Barossa Leisure Options (BLO) program will officially conclude on 30 June 2017 following a recommendation by Council’s funding partner, the Department of Communities and Social Inclusion, and the reference group for the BLO Transition Project.

As a result of funding changes, BLO activities may wind up earlier than 30 June 2017 if clients choose an alternative service provider and BLO groups become unviable.

In this event, remaining clients will be referred to DCSI but are encouraged to contact the Department directly to discuss their options.

The Barossa Council CEO Martin McCarthy said the new funding arrangements promote consumer choice and control.

“DCSI funding has been individualised for clients, giving them the freedom to choose their own provider,” he said.

“In the event that any Barossa Leisure Options group activities conclude earlier than planned, remaining clients will be given two weeks’ notice and be referred to Disability SA for assistance to find another service provider.

“To reach this decision we have undertaken extensive market research involving one-on-one interviews with clients and contractors.  Also, DCSI has advised us that this approach is in the best interests of all stakeholders and ensures the best outcomes for BLO clients.”

Prior to the transition project, there were four service providers operating in the region but a high level of collaboration between stakeholders has seen a further six indicate their intention to offer services to people with disability in the region in the near future.

“The findings of our research will be made available to them in the lead up to June 30 to ensure they are responsive to the needs of clients and can offer appropriate and tailored services when Barossa Leisure Options exits the market,” Mr McCarthy said.

BLO was originally established in 1998 to fill service gaps in the region, and has evolved into a program with a sound reputation amongst its clients, the community and funding bodies.

The transformation of disability service delivery in Australia through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has compelled all service providers to assess their suitably to enter the NDIS market place, and in May 2016 The Barossa Council decided it would not become an NDIS Approved Provider.

Information for stakeholders will be available on Council’s website, and through regular newsletters to clients as the transition continues to roll out prior to June 30 2017.

For more information about the Barossa Leisure Options Transition click here