The roles of Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) and the Regional Intellectual Disability Care Agency (RIDCA)
This document outlines the role of the Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) services and the Regional Intellectual Disability Care Agency (RIDCA) and the services they provide.
Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) services
NASC services are organisations contracted to the Ministry of Health's Disability Services which have two clear and separate functions: assessment facilitation and service coordination. NASC services therefore work with disabled people to help identify their needs and to outline what disability support services are available. They allocate Ministry of Health funded support services and assist with accessing other supports that may be met by other government funded services or non government organisations.
If it is believed disability support is required for a child or young person, the first step is to make a referral. Contact the NASC service to obtain their referral form or in some cases this can be downloaded from their website.
With the guardian’s consent, social workers can make a referral to a NASC service or the whānau or family or doctor can do this. The child or young person’s medical details will be required in order to complete this form.
Once a referral is made the NASC service will check with the Ministry of Health guidelines to make sure the child or young person is entitled to receive supports. If they are not entitled to supports, the whānau or family will be contacted to talk about other options that may be available. If they are entitled, then the whānau or family will be contacted in order to arrange a needs assessment.
During a needs assessment, an assessor meets with the whānau or family, usually in their home, to discuss what the child or young person wants to achieve and what supports are needed. The assessor talks with the whānau or family and child or young person about what they can do, what resources they have, their goals for the future and what they need to get there. Some of the things discussed include whānau or family background, current living situation, current support networks, abilities, communication and mobility needs, income support, and how household tasks and personal care are managed.
Assessors also listen to what the child or young person wants to achieve regarding their education, future career, vocation or work life. Assessors also define any recreational, social, cultural, or spiritual goals the whānau or family may have and then place these in order of priority. Whānau or family, friends and independent advocates or support people are welcome to also be part of the process. Assessors then decide what is needed to maximize independence so the child or young person can participate in their local community the way they want.
Supports that can be accessed
After a needs assessment, a service coordinator works with the whānau or family to establish a support plan to meet the prioritised assessed needs and goals of the child or young person and, where appropriate, their whānau or family or caregivers. These needs may include but are not limited to:
- personal care
- respite care
- carer support
- vehicle and housing modifications
- social and personal development
- vocational and employment
- behaviour support
- child development services
- community residential services
- disability information and advisory services
- supported independent living
- peer support.
Once a plan is agreed to, the service coordinator determines which of the assessed needs can be met by government funded services and which can be met by other services, and will explore all options and linkages for addressing prioritised needs and goals. The service coordinator will then work with the identified service providers to put the supports in place. Once the plan is finalised a letter is sent explaining the supports that make up the support plan. Follow up is also provided to ensure the supports are in place and working well.
When needs change
If needs change, the NASC service can be contacted at any time to discuss this and arrange a reassessment or review of supports.
Each year the supports are reviewed to ensure they are still meeting the child or young person's needs. Every three years a full reassessment is arranged.
The Regional Intellectual Disability Care Agency (RIDCA)
The Regional Intellectual Disability Care Agency (RIDCA) is a specialist needs assessment and coordination service for intellectually disabled people who have high and complex behavioural needs and who require intensive levels of support. The agency is funded by the Ministry of Health in order to determine eligibility and access to specialised services.
The establishment of the RIDCA service was in direct response to the introduction of the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003 (IDCC&R Act). This Act gave the Court the power to order an intellectually disabled person charged with or convicted of an imprisonable offence (who met criteria under the Act) to accept compulsory care and rehabilitation. The Act provides for two different levels of care: secure care (hospital level or community based) or supervised care.
How to make a referral to RIDCA?
The mainstream Needs Assessment and Service Coordination Service (NASC) make referrals to RIDCA.
What services can RIDCA provide?
RIDCA employ care coordinators who provide needs assessment and then develop plans and make referrals to both national and regional services for people who require intensive services and people under compulsory care orders.
Refer to the Guide to the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003 for further information including key roles and responsibilities.
If any child or young person known to Oranga Tamariki is referred by the NASC service to RIDCA, your regional disability advisor should be informed as soon as possible.