LiveBetter Community Services adds NSW Government's specialist disability services to portfolio

NEW ERA: Ben Wyatt
NEW ERA: Ben Wyatt

DISABILITY accommodation and respite services in the Central West, including in Bathurst and Kelso, are set for a change, but staff have been assured they will have “continuation of employment”.

LiveBetter Community Services, which was formerly known as CareWest, is set to expand its services as it prepares to take over 17 group homes and four respite services from the NSW Government’s Ageing, Disability and Home Care NSW (ADHC).

LiveBetter’s disability services general manager Ben Wyatt said the services are located in Bathurst, Kelso, Orange, Blayney, Dubbo and Broken Hill.

Importantly, Mr Wyatt said the 300 staff employed by ADHC will continue their employment with LiveBetter.

“There will be a continuation of employment for these staff. LiveBetter strongly believes in employment in rural and remote communities,” Mr Wyatt said.

“These services will build on and complement our existing services.”

Mr Wyatt said the ADHC’s group homes and respite centres aligned closely with LiveBetter’s existing services and emphasised there would be minimal change for clients and staff.

“It’s a positive sign that the NSW Government is supporting a regional services provider to continue delivering these very important services in NSW,” he said.

The transfer of the specialist disability services is the result of an agreement made in 2012 between state and federal governments.

That agreement said all specialist disability services in NSW would be handled by non-government providers by July 2018.

“We understand that changes like this can be unsettling for people being supported and their families as well as staff members,” Mr Wyatt said.

“Our aim is to ensure there is no disruption to services and the transfer is as smooth as possible for everyone.”

The 300 staff who are beginning work with LiveBetter will join 800 already working for the not-for-profit organisation.