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Local Area Coordination Review: Term of Reference 3: Value-for-Money

Authors: Eddie Bartnik & Stephen Psaila-Savona


This report looks at the issue of value for money for the Local Area Coordination program in the vast Australian state of Western Australia. Local Area Coordination (LAC) makes disability services and supports more personal, local and accountable by supporting people with disabilities and their families in their local communities. This involves engaging local people and services in building and maintaining informal and formal support networks. Local Area Coordinators can provide funding direct to people with disabilities and their families to meet specified needs.

In 2002 124 Local Area Coordinators were employed across the state and supported 6,147 people with disabilities. Of these, 1313 received recurrent direct funding totaling $11.4 million annually (averaging almost $8,700). Such funding made up 53% of the total operating budget for LAC, with the remainder used for salaries and operating costs. The success of this program has lead to consultation on and implementation of similar models in other Australian states as well as Scotland and Canada.

Australian benchmarks on average cost, service uptake, consumer satisfaction and relative cost-effectiveness were examined. The data revealed higher service uptake, lower average cost, greater satisfaction and better cost-effectiveness than national Australian benchmarks. The program has been very successful at preventing unnecessary out-of-home placement and dislocation from the local community. One feature contributing to cost-effectiveness has been the ability to access sources of funding (e.g., for housing) outside the disability services budget.

Contact Info:
Name:Eddie Bartnik
Title:Director, Metropolitan Services Coordination
Organization:Disability Services Commissioion of Western Australia
Address:Perth, Western Australia

Web Links

The PDF file of this report

Website for the Disability Services Commission of Western Australia.

This information was found at www.qualitymall.org