Group homes for people with a disability transfer from the government to LiveBetter

JOB TRANSFERS: Carliene Charnock, Lachlan Johnson, Michelle Trudgett, Kim Bright and Bridget Rogers have changed employers during the specialist disability accommodation and services transfer to LiveBetter. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
JOB TRANSFERS: Carliene Charnock, Lachlan Johnson, Michelle Trudgett, Kim Bright and Bridget Rogers have changed employers during the specialist disability accommodation and services transfer to LiveBetter. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

A respite centre and 13 group homes for people with a disability have transferred from the state government to LiveBetter in Orange.

Across the Western region, there were four respite centres and 18 specialist disability accommodation group homes involved in the change-over from the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) and to LiveBetter Community Services.

Those homes and services are in Bathurst, Blayney, Dubbo, Kelso, Broken Hill and Orange.

The transfer, took place last week and will result in an extra 200 clients and 340 staff transferring to LiveBetter, taking its total number of staff to 1500 making it the largest regionally-based not-for-profit organisation in NSW.

About 250 of those new staff members work in Orange and LiveBetter CEO Tim Curran said it was part of the transfer agreement that all staff were offered positions under the same pay and government sector award conditions.

“They are now working for a new employer so some of our employment and operating policies will be different to the NSW government but in the most part it will be the same staff working with the same clients in the same houses in the same way,” Mr Curran said. 

Mr Curran said the organisation would change as little as possible to make the transfer easier on the 60 Orange clients living in group homes, their families and transferred staff.

“Our priority is to ensure open communication and the continuation of service delivery during the transfer – particularly as we are at the same time transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme [NDIS],” he said.

“We have to be aware that the NDIS roll-out will mean there are some changes to the way funding is provided to individual clients. 

Mr Curran said all NSW government specialist disability accommodation and services will transfer from NSW Ageing Disability and Home Care [a unit of FACS] to the non-government sector by July 2018.