Making Funded Family Care fairer

The Government has today announced plans to change the Funded Family Care policy, including its intention to repeal Part 4A of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 (the Act).

Cabinet has agreed to consider changes to Funded Family Care, with options and timeframes for changes to be presented to Cabinet later this year.

“The Government intends to repeal Part 4A of the Act that was introduced by the previous National Government,” Minister of Health Dr David Clark says.

“There have been consistent calls for Part 4A to be repealed because it is discriminatory. In particular, Part 4A has been inconsistent with human rights legislation because it denies families the right to complain about breaches of their human rights relating to family care policies,” Acting Associate Health Minister James Shaw says.

“The previous Government’s Funded Family Care policy has been a nightmare for the families involved. Today’s announcement is the first step towards a kinder and fairer agreement with carers.

“Over the next couple of months the Government will run targeted consultation with affected families and stakeholders on the key issues within Funded Family Care. Consultation will cover issues of eligibility, pay rates for carers, the employment relationship, and the type of care covered,” says James Shaw.

“Consultation is needed to ensure any new system is durable and has enough flexibility to meet everyone’s needs. For example, most family carers don’t want to be employed by their disabled child or a disabled family member they live with, but some do,” David Clark says.

“We acknowledge that many families have waited a long time to see this policy changed and I want to thank them for their ongoing patience,” David Clark says.

“This work contributes directly to the Government priority to ensure everyone who is able to, is earning, learning, caring and volunteering,” David Clark says.

Notes for editors:

Funded Family Care allows payment of people to care for resident family members assessed as having high or very high needs relating to disability, long term chronic health conditions, mental health and addiction and aged care needs. Funded Family Care policies are administered by the Ministry of Health (Disability Support Services) and District Health Boards.

Part 4A of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 provides that the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards have family care policies allowing persons to be paid for providing health and/or disability services to family members. It also limits the ability for complaints to be made to the Human Rights Commission and the Courts regarding breaches of the Human Rights Act 1993 relating to family care policies.