A STATE Government plan to outsource some Department of Communities services has been given a cautious welcome by one of Australia's largest disability groups.
Premier Campbell Newman told a crowd in Brisbane this week that the department was considering moving its Accommodation Support and Respite Services area, made up of disability carers, into the non-government sector.
Mr Newman has previously said ASRS cost the government $145 million each year to look after "just over 500 clients".
The Premier used the ASRS as an example for some of the broader moves towards outsourcing and privatisation being contemplated by the state.
He said groups "including Endeavour and others" would be asked for expressions of interest to take over ASRS, with government staff to be picked up by the chosen organisation.
The process, the Premier said, was about "looking after the clients, families and making sure there is a proper transition".
"That means either people retire or they start working for one of those NGOs," he said.
"If there is going to be a change, we don't want them (patients) to be dealing with another carer.
"That is traumatic."
Endeavour Foundation chief executive David Barbagallo said with the Premier signing up to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, there were now many variables to consider, but his group may be interested.
The disability service group has 230 locations in Queensland and New South Wales, caring for 3350 people.
"We already have the necessary staff and systems to support people who are in ASRS support arrangements," Mr Barbagallo said.
On the question of whether it would pick up the government's staff, Mr Barbagallo said that would depend on the quality of government carers, but ultimately would come down to the needs of those needing care.
"Endeavour Foundation has previously hired a great number of staff with ASRS experience and is not opposed to doing so again in order to ensure continuity in support arrangements," he said.
"However, in the end, all staffing decisions must be made in consultation with individual clients."
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