NDIS: Foster care + respite

LNMT and National Disability Insurance Agency [2018] AATA 431 is of interest for its attention to the needs of an NDIS participant child with vision & cognitive impairments, who had been placed with a foster carer.  In relation to respite care, the Tribunal said at [46]:

As the applicant’s mother explained in her evidence (which was not challenged on this point), the applicant cannot participate in the usual respite arrangements which apply to children in foster care.  Because of her significant disabilities, difficult behaviours and complex needs, when her foster mother is not available to care for her, she must be placed in disability supported accommodation on a temporary basis.  I see no room for doubt that this expense is attributable to the applicant’s disabilities, is not more appropriately funded as part of a universal service obligation and therefore must be met as a reasonable and necessary support under the NDIS.  I note my conclusion in this regard is consistent with the COAG Principles, which expressly acknowledge that additional respite care required as a result of a child’s disabilities so as to enable sustainable caring arrangements for them will be a reasonable and necessary support under the NDIS.



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