People with disability in NSW who need help managing their finances often lack support to make decisions about money. An SPRC evaluation shows that a funded agency is needed to help people take a more active part in deciding how to spend their money.
The NSW Public Guardian commissioned the SPRC to evaluate the Supported Decision Making Phase 2 project. Project staff at the Public Guardian worked with people with cognitive impairments whose money was managed by the NSW Trustee & Guardian to support financial decisions. The project also delivered workshops on how to support decision making to hundreds of service providers and established a group for networking and practice development.
Most people with cognitive impairments valued the chance to learn more about budgeting and saving in the project. Most also wanted more responsibility for their finances. Implications for future support for financial decisions are:
Most service providers found that taking part in the training workshops and the networking group increased their capacity to assist people with cognitive impairments to make their own decisions. The high demand among service providers indicates that further funding might help to build their skills and embed supported decision making within organisations.