The Ascent Group

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Supporting People to REACH HIGHER and achieve Great Outcomes with The Ascent Group … CEO Peter Westbrook and The Ascent Group Care For Children Manager, Rob Richardson.

Remind us how long The Ascent Group has been providing disability services to the New England region?

The Ascent Group is a prominent local community organisation, with a proud history reaching over 62 years, providing support to people with disability in the New England region. Originally established in 1955 to provide otherwise unavailable schooling for children in Armidale with developmental disabilities, Ascent has evolved over the years by continually responding to meet the changing needs of people with disability.

Today, Ascent is focused on a bright future as a contemporary National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Provider of choice. We have chosen our new logo to communicate who we are and what we can do to support our customers’ aspirations to reach higher and achieve great outcomes.

What has changed?

Over the last twelve months, Ascent has been at the forefront of the national roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. We have been working closely with the people we support and their families, to ensure a smooth transition to the NDIS. This transition has now provided all our customers with individual support packages, ensuring their greater choice and control over the things they want to do in their lives and freedom to decide on the services and support they would like to achieve their goals.

How has/will the NDIS benefit clients at The Ascent Group?

The NDIS is the new way of providing support for Australians with disability, their families and carers.

Ascent understands that everyone’s needs, preferences and aspirations are different. In the past it was difficult to tailor individual support, as funding contracts held with the State and Commonwealth Governments, to deliver services were allocated as Block Grants that assumed economies of scale mostly based on group activity.

The NDIS is a market-style system, where government funding will no longer go directly to disability service providers, but instead to the client with disability to purcase the services and support they want to build skills and develop the capability to participate in the community and employment.

The Ascent Group has formed a partnership with the local organisation, Care for Children with Disabilities Inc. Tell us about this?

Over the past twelve months, Ascent has been supporting the smaller Armidale based organisation Care for Children with Disabilities Inc. to transition to the NDIS. Care for Children has been operating in the Armidale region for over 30 years, providing much needed respite support for families who have a child with a disability.

Exciting news is that, following agreement during the year that a merger between Care for Children and Ascent would ensure continuity of Children’s support services into the future, Ascent is now providing ongoing support to all Care for Children participants’ families. The merger is inclusive of all Care for Children’s management and support staff. The new Ascent service division will be managed by Rob Richardson and branded Ascent Care for Children.

Rob has provided strong leadership of Care for Children over the last three years in preparation for the introduction of the NDIS. Rob believes that the merger with Ascent is a great outcome, which will provide Care for Children with a bright future to succeed in the resource intensive NDIS world.

Ascent is now able to offer support, as a registered NDIS provider, daily, in the evening or on weekends. We will work with families to plan regular support requirements and also respond to shorter term needs. We believe that family involvement is essential for the wellbeing and happiness of the children we support, and is at heart of what we do.

Tell us about your team …

Our support workers are the deliverers of the quality support we strive to provide. It is their dedication to our mission that makes the achievement of great outcomes a reality in the lives of the people we support.

Direction and skill development is provided by our passionate administration and management team leaders, who are provided with leadership and strategic direction by our Executive and Board of Directors.

Ascent, as one of the larger employers in Armidale, is currently providing employment to around 150 permanent and part-time staff, who deliver daily and 24/7 support to over 150 people with disability and their families.

Plans for the future?

Our vision is “To aspire to be the leading provider of Disability Services and Community Support in the New England and North Western NSW”. To support our vision, we have developed a new strategic plan that will align with the transition and roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Already we have achieved a successful transition to the NDIS, implemented a new fully integrated client information and business management IT system and contemporised our brand.

Over the next year we will be focusing on the future development and skilling of our workforce, to ensure that we continue to deliver on our mission: “To provide quality support for people with disabilities that enables pursuit of their goals and aspirations”.

We are always ready to hear from enthusiastic and caring people who are seeking a rewarding career that can make a real difference in the lives of others.

Expressions of interest can be emailed to: jobs@ascentgroup.org.au

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