13/10/2021 | Michelle Lensink MLC | Better Services

A new Marshall Liberal Government commissioned study focusing on a parent’s common fear about what happens to their child with a disability when they can no longer care for them is on track, with a discussion paper now open for public consultation.

Following targeted consultation, the discussion paper – compiled by the state’s independent disability advocate Dr David Caudrey – delves into potential ideas, programs, services and possible legislative changes that could be put into place to further safeguard people living with disability.

Recognising the wide range of wishes and needs of people living with disability, Dr Caudrey will continue to interview families, individuals, advocates and service providers to further seek feedback on this topic. The study also draws on learnings from interstate and overseas jurisdictions.

A final report, including any recommendations, is expected to be handed down to the Minister in December.

Common questions to be explored in the study include:

  • How can parents make provision for their son or daughter with a disability so that they will be well cared for after the parents are no longer around?
  • Who can be relied upon to care that a person with a disability is OK if parents are too frail or have passed away?
  • What role do circles of support play in future safeguarding of people with disabilities?
  • What role can siblings play when parents are no longer around and what supports might they need?

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the Marshall Liberal Government was committed to improving safeguarding and outcomes for people living with disability in South Australia.

“Time and time again, the number one concern I hear from parents with a son or daughter living with disability is ‘what will happen to my son or daughter when I die’,” said Minister Lensink.

“Many mums and dads worry about how their son or daughter will continue to live a safe and happy life and be supported socially, emotionally and financially when they die or can no longer look out for them, and this must be incredibly distressing.

“We’re listening to these concerns and that’s why we’ve asked the state’s independent disability advocate Dr David Caudrey to look into anything we could be doing to better support parents, and most importantly better safeguard people living with disability, when this situation arises.”

The discussion paper and consultation details can be found on the Office of the Public Advocate website from today.
Dr Caudrey said:  “I welcome all comment on the discussion paper, especially from people with disabilities and their parents and siblings. I would also like to talk with people either singly or in groups.  If anyone wishes to comment or ask for a meeting, they can write to disability.advocate@sa.gov.au”.

The consultation is open until 3 December 2021.  Written comments can be sent to disability.advocate@sa.gov.au.  Alternatively, if you wish to meet with Dr Caudrey please email him at the address above or phone the Office of the Public Advocate reception on (08) 8342 8200 to request a call back and he will arrange a time.