AWHI: ORS funding, flu vaccines, the new Ministry and more....
The Awhi Ngā Mātua newsletter
Kia ora Awhi friends,
We hope you had a lovely long weekend and a Happy Matariki - Ngā mihi o Matariki, te tau hou Māori. We hope you are safe and well.
In the community we have been talking about quite a few things. Here’s a rundown for you, if you’re the parent of a disabled, medically fragile and/or neurodivergent child - come in and join the conversation.
Mānawatia a Matariki - We’re sharing how we’re doing.
How to set up a sensory room - We’re sharing places to buy great equipment for our tamariki with awesome sensory brains. Including the K-Mart hack! K-Mart has great exercise equipment that doubles as sensory seeking equipment. Like a stability board and stretch bands. Sensory Sam is a great NZ option for sensory products.
The Ministry of Health Claims team has reduced their carer support claims backlog and their turn around time is now five days. They're aiming for the quickest turnaround possible...Yay!
To help them process quickly: Make sure you include bank details and your dated signature. If you're sending an email put your client ID number and whether it is a query or a claim in the subject line. If you can put all the information in one pdf file - you can use a scanner app on your phone.
We had a question about nappies - You might be eligible to get free nappies if you have a child over four and a half who isn’t toilet trained due to disability or medical condition. Speak to your GP, paediatrician or occupational therapist and ask them to provide you with a referral to the District Health Board Continence Clinic. The nappies will be sent directly to your home in bulk.
We have published a piece on: Everything you need to know about the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme or ORS funding scheme....
The Ongoing Resourcing Scheme is funding for supporting children in New Zealand’s education system with ongoing support needs. We have had a lot of questions about how to apply, what to do if your application is declined and how to appeal. We’ve answered all of those questions here.
In wonderful news: Children will get free flu vaccines and the second Covid-19 booster eligibility has expanded. The vaccine will be free for children aged 3 to 12 and to people with serious mental health or addiction needs.
From Tuesday, a second Covid-19 booster dose will also be available to anyone over 50, and health, aged-care and disability-care workers over the age of 30, with a six-month gap between doses. It was recommended for anyone over the age of 65, as well as Māori and Pacific peoples older than 50 and people who are severely immunocompromised.
Many in our community have been able to get a Covid 19 vaccine booster for their immunocompromised tamariki. See your GP to find out if this is an option for you - you will need to get a script from them to take to your local vaccine centre.
Disabled children are being denied full education, advocates say - Under the Education and Training Act, all students – including those with special learning requirements – have the right to attend school for all the hours it is open.
However, this was often not the reality, Trish Grant from IHC New Zealand said in a great Stuff article that you can read here.
“There are real problems for disabled students being able to stay at school all day or just getting in the door,” she said.
“It’s ableism. They are not being seen as learners. Their families have to beg for the resources they need to be at school to learn and to participate.”
Finally, on Friday the Ministry for Disabled People is launched as is Health New Zealand. All DHBs will be replaced by Health NZ and the Māori Health Authority. The Government is investing $107.859 million over four years to establish the new Ministry for Disabled People.
The funding will establish the new Ministry and employ an additional 50 fulltime equivalent staff. The Ministry will help lead and coordinate cross-government strategic policy so it will be more joined-up, and support the ongoing transformation of disability services, including the implementation of the Enabling Good Lives approach (EGL).
Stay safe and well and join the community to share how you’re doing and support your fellow parents. Feel free to share this newsletter.
Emily & Elizabeth
Awhi Ngā Mātua