Your Way | Kia Roha has Connections & Funding teams in five areas – Otago and Southland, Hutt Valley, Whanganui, Taranaki, and Tairāwhiti. We are contracted by Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People to provide a NASC service.
What is a NASC?
NASCs have been operating in New Zealand for more than 20 years, and different organisations operate this service in areas across the country. Most NASCs provide specialised support to specific groups of people, disabled people, people with mental health issues, or those with other health issues, and older people.
As a disability support service, our Connections & Funding teams work with people whose primary needs are disability related. People we work with may also have an additional health or mental health issue, and in these situations our teams may work with other NASCs to decide how best to support someone.
We are contracted to decide if someone is eligible for government funded disability support and, if they are, we coordinate the funding support that enables the person to live a good life. We also work to connect people to community supports that can make life better.
How to be Referred
You may refer yourself to our service, or be referred by a medical professional, teacher, or social worker.
When you first get in touch with us, you will likely talk to one of our referral coordinators. They will need confirmation of your diagnosis from a medical specialist or GP to see if you qualify for disability services and funded support. Getting that written diagnosis can take some time, so please ask your regular doctor / specialist to send it to us as soon as they can. This will make things quicker.
Once we have all the information we need, we will let you know (via letter or email) if you are eligible for support. If you are not eligible, our team will provide any further information, and, where we can, connect you with other services able to offer support.
Creating a Plan
If you are eligible, a community facilitator will work with you. One of the first steps for them is to meet or connect with you to discuss a plan, which we call a Tō Oranga Pai | Living Well Plan.
This plan is yours. It is all about you and your needs. You have various options for how to create this plan, such as writing the plan on your own, involving important people in your life, or working on it with a small group. You may also wish to work on your plan with your community facilitator.
Planning can take some time. You may want to meet more than once, or you may have a plan for a shorter time frame. If you’d rather not write it yourself, your community facilitator will support you to put it together. This way, you can make sure it truly represents you and what you want.
Services and Support
Once you have confirmed your plan reflects you and what you want, we will provide information about services or supports that can improve your life. We aim to offer you options for support, though some areas might have limited choices. If this is the case, we will talk to you about this.
Some services have long waiting lists, with wait times extending for months. This delay can be frustrating due to the nationwide shortage of disability and health staff, particularly in specialised roles like behaviour support.
How Long Will it Take to Get Support?
Sometimes, people are urgently referred to us. However, it may still take a couple of months from your referral until services begin. This delay is due to reasons such as confirming your diagnosis, scheduling a plan, and potential wait times for services.
From our end, you can expect clear communication from us. We will inform you about any wait times. You can also reach out by phoning 0800 758 700 to update us, especially if your situation changes. It is important we know when things change, so we can ensure you have any supports you may need.
Around 12 months after you have started receiving any formal or contracted support, a referrals coordinator will contact you (via phone or letter) to check if you need any changes to support. This is a chance for you to let us know if anything has changed. If a lot has changed in your life and your plan no longer reflects what you need and want, you can ask for an updated plan.
If you have any questions about our work, please contact your community facilitator or your local office. Find our contact details for your region online.