Enabling Good Lives will continue in the Waikato for two more years, but that doesn’t mean the status quo will remain.
Sixty new participants will be ushered into the Waikato demonstration each year; making for a total of 120 people who will get to experience the new model of support that provides greater flexibility and choice. Currently EGL (Enabling Good Lives) has 250 participants, most of whom are already fully funded.
Christine Potts, Director of the Waikato demonstration, says she is looking forward to the future challenges.
“There is a bit of growth for us here and the focus will be refining our systems, plus we will always be working with people to ensure they are getting the outcomes they want in their lives”, Potts said.
EGL’s Waikato Leadership Group will meet and discuss where the demonstration should go over the next two years.
Last week, the Minister for Disability Issues announced a ten-year plan to overhaul how disabled people access support systems in New Zealand. The first step is a new rollout in the Mid Central of the North Island, beginning in Palmerston North. The future direction will be built upon the principles of EGL, like greater choice and flexibility for people who require support to live an ordinary life because of their disability.
Christine Potts, says that the growth of EGL in the Waikato needs to align with the overall direction of the disability supports landscape moving forward.
“I’d like to see more people benefit, but here in the Waikato we can’t continue to be working in isolation. Government is working on transformation on a wider scale”, Potts said. “The key to it is seeing how much control disabled people have going forward, and if the direction can sit with them then I think anything is possible” Potts said.
Employment was a key focus area for the EGL demonstration prior to its launch in 2015. Two years later, employment for people with disabilities remains a huge challenge for the demonstration. Just six participants in the Waikato have gained work through their connections to EGL.
Potts recognises that the demonstration lacks in that area and confirmed that Work & Income would take the lead on that front in future. Such work includes Project 300, launched by the Minister last year.
“We won’t do any more targeted work in that area because Work and Income have several different initiatives surrounding that”, Potts said.
EGL participants in the Waikato will have the chance to have their questions asked at two forums in Hamilton next week.