There have been significant changes in the services offered by both of these major third party funders. The Government has moved to a model of having a ‘supplier’ who holds the contract and contracts with ‘providers’ to do the work.© 2015 NZAC
With ACC, there are a number of NZAC members who have been granted a supplier contract. These can be found on www.findsupport.co.nz. This explains about the new process and for more detailed information go to: www.acc.co.nz/for-providers/integrated-services-for-sensitive-claims/index.htm. It offers a lot more services to clients (social work, family/whanau, group work) and more support for providers (cultural advice and active liaison).
I think it will be more respectful of clients as the supplier can choose who will do the assessments and the counsellor is paid to attend the sessions with the client if necessary. There is more of a sense of working together as a team in the best interests of the client’s healing and growth.
Unfortunately the previous funding for couples who needed support to rebuild or repair their relationships (Section 9s and 10s) has been withdrawn.
Now the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has developed a new system whereby couples who want to make parenting agreements have to go through a process called Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) before they are able to take the matter to Court.
There are exceptions to attending FDR where the parties are unsuitable for the mediation process. Couples under the threshold can have government funding for the FDR process and there are two main suppliers - Fairway and Family Support. They also need to attend a Parenting Through Separation Programme and are offered three sessions to prepare them for mediation and free legal advice. More information can be found on www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice.
Other suppliers have been appointed to provide non-funded or partially-funded work. These can be found on www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/about-children/making-decisions-about-children/new-process/justice-providerslist.
These are challenging times and we are being invited to adapt to a new culture. A colleague, Paul Muir, and I have set up two new companies to supply both of these services (www.cfdr.co.nz and www.optimumsolutions.co.nz). It has been hard work to go through the tendering process, however we are hoping that we will be able to offer quality services to clients.