Guy Turnbull has been able to establish and grow a cooperative model to deliver disability services in the UK. This presentation highlights some of the lessons and journey of Care and Share Associates (CASA) as part of an exploration of the possibilities for similar work in Australia.
The presentation speaks for itself but what follows below is reference to a range of links and comments on other resources relevant to cooperatives being used to deliver disability services in Australia based on material kindly supplied to us by Alan Greig of Social Businesses Australia (http://www.socialbusiness.coop/).
First, for a story on the development of consumer directed care in the NDIS you could start with watching You can see the segment (3 minutes) at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuqYq2QojS0 .
Also, there was an article on this co-op in Pro Bono News recently – you can see this at: “Co-ops Can Help Deliver on ‘Great Promise’ of NDIS” http://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2016/06/co-ops-can-help-deliver-great-promise-ndis/ .
According to Alan Greig the most prominent move is towards “self-directed care cooperatives”, a service model growing rapidly in the US and which is based on the families owning the services themselves through a cooperative and controlling the services on a collective basis. He suggests viewing the 'excellent' Inspire Cooperative at: http://www.inspirehsc.org/ as an example and notes that these models have their own assistance body, the Federation of Human Service Cooperatives (see: http://www.federatedhsc.coop/ ). The projects are quite large, involving a very wide circle of members providing services according to their own needs, not those defined by somebody else.
A second model is of Member owned Social cooperatives. See for example “Entrepreneurs, Co-ops and the Excluded: Ownership is Key” an article about the Nundah Community Enterprise Co-op in Queensland which is owned and operated by people with a disability at: http://www.probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2014/09/entrepreneurs-co-ops-and-excluded-ownership-key .
Alan states that most people with disabilities in Italy, for instance, are members of such cooperatives and these have a great track record in terms of local ownership and operation (averaging 100 families with 30 employees). Social Businesses Australia uses the Co-ops UK research report on Social Cooperatives as a resource to encourage new plans about larger scale approaches that will be very different from top down, corporate style services. See this report at: http://www.uk.coop/social-co-operatives .
Yet a third cooperative approach is that of employee owned social care cooperatives To view an Australian operating example go to: http://www.carecoop.org.au/about / .
Also, see the article “Is employee ownership the future of social care” at: http://www.theguardian.com/social-enterprise-network/2013/may/31/employee-ownership-social-care Dr Turnbull is quoted in the article which also notes that the CASA model is itself based on the famous, employee owned social enterprise, Sunderland Home Care Associates. It was Social Enterprise of the Year in the UK in 2006 . For more on this, see his article at: http://bccm.coop/guest-blog-meeting-demographic-challenge/ .