Come Home. Come Heal. Come Rest. Guddi

Synapse has received five years funding to implement a project – known as Come Home Come Heal Come Rest – with the objective to increase participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the NDIS, and other improved system and service responses.

Building on our research and the development of the Guddi Way screening tool, Come Home, Come Heal, Come Rest represents three inter-related core strategies oriented to improve understanding of brain injury and cognitive impairment, and better respond to affected individuals.

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The Problem to Solve

The rate of disability among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is almost twice as high as that among non-Indigenous people, and yet Indigenous Australians are under-represented in the NDIS.

This is especially the case for those living with invisible disabilities such as brain injury and cognitive impairment, who often experience significant challenges interacting with systems and services intended to assist them.

  • It is estimated that 80% of adult prisoners in Australia have experienced some form of brain injury1
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children make up 37.3 per cent of Australian kids receiving out-of-home care, despite them making up only 5.5 per cent of all children2
  • People accessing homelessness services are 9.4 times more likely to be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander3

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The Solution - A Strategic Approach

We have developed three inter-related core strategies oriented to improve understanding of brain injury and cognitive impairment, and better respond to affected individuals:

Working with Agencies

Targeted engagement with community organisations, agencies and government departments supporting or working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals impacted by NCD.

Working with Communities

‘Proper Way’* engagement with local communities that contributes to building capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to deliver NDIS services, enabling plan activation.

Systemic Advocacy

Well constructed, evidence-based arguments and solutions will aid in raising awareness of issues with policy and decision-makers, removing barriers, and supporting a shift toward improved service access and quality.

3 way strategy

Implementing The Guddi Way Screen

Core to the government, agency and community response is the Guddi Way Screen, an innovative culturally safe and sensitive approach to understanding health, disability and human rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with brain injury and cognitive impairment. Guddi Way screens are complemented by brain injury education in a range of formats tailored to different contexts, other customised supports and systemic advocacy.

Read more about the Guddi Way

Speak to us about this project

If you are involved with a community organisation, agency or government department supporting or working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals impacted by NCD we encourage you to speak with us.

Breadth of Engagement

Environmental Scan

Following confirmation of initial funding, a series of market sounding and investigative activities were undertaken to understand the potential market and its readiness for a commercialised product and service offering to facilitate increased Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander participation in the NDIS, and to shore up political and sector support for the Advocacy strategy.

These activities confirmed that unmet need in relation to brain injury and psychosocial disability and the impacts are universally acknowledged. Pathways to engagement and effective plan delivery through the NDIS are typically complex, obscure or non-existent. Potential customers across jurisdictions and service streams keenly acknowledge that improved outcomes could be achieved.

Frequently their priorities in descending order are:

  • Wellbeing of the person living with the disability (usually includes access to an NDIS plan)
  • Improved internal functioning (eg: improved functioning within the prison environment)
  • Reduction of negative political impacts
  • Immediate cost reductions and avoidance of costs (current and future)

Our strategic approach has been informed by discussions with key personnel representing sectors identified as being key points of convergence of individuals impacted by brain injury as outlined in Figure 1. below.

Sectors addressed by environmental scan

Population and Sector Sample Size

Respective potential population size of sample sectors. It should be noted that both Indigenous population and disability figures are recognised to be underreported, meaning that the numbers below reflect a conservative estimate.

Australian Population

National population: 23,401,891
Population with reported disability: 1,202,944 (5.1%)
Indigenous population: 649,168 (2.8%)
Indigenous population with reported disability: 43,748

It is commonly acknowledged that the Census and Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers under-count both the Indigenous population, and the Australian population living with disability.

Out of Home Care

(Child Safety/Protection)

National population: 45,756
Population with reported disability: 6,406 (14% est)
Indigenous population: 17,787 (38.9%)
Psychosocial disability in Out of Home Care may exceed 80%.

 

Custodial Detention

(Adult)

National population: 42,974
Population with reported disability: 12,462 (29%)
Indigenous population: 11,849 (27.6%)
Estimates of the prevalence in specific prisons
engaged in the market sounding range from at least 60% to around 95%.

Homelessness

National population: 288,795
Population with reported disability: 41,356 (14.3%)
Indigenous population: 65,184 (22.6%)

The Guddi Protocol was originally developed as a tool to understand the prevalence and impact of brain injury among users of homeless services Cairns.

 

Youth Detention & Community Supervision

National population: 10,638
Population with reported disability: 4,893 (est 46%)
Indigenous population: 5,213 (49%)

The high incidence of young people in the out of home care system also engaging with Youth Justice underscores the importance of early engagement and capacity building.

Speak to us about this project

If you are involved with a community organisation, agency or government department supporting or working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals impacted by NCD we encourage you to speak with us.

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