Needs Assessments

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In the Ministry of Health Contracts and Service Specifications document, the Ministry states the objectives of NASC as follows:

"A fundamental objective of the NASC is to maximise and support the abilities of people by facilitating a process for them to identify their needs and goals, and make decisions on how these can best be met. To achieve this objective the NASC must maintain a clear vision of NASC as the dynamic combination of a service working in partnership with people and the Ministry to achieve the best possible outcomes within the available resources. 

For people with disability and full-time carers NASC is the means by which their strengths, resources and needs can be identified, their support options explored and support services accessed. In order to achieve these objectives a NASC needs to, at a minimum:

be responsive to people and their communities

be community focussed

support the enhancement of the person’s own natural strengths, resources and independence

have minimal waiting times by adhering to timeframes set out in this specification.

Needs assessment and service co-ordination processes must be separated from the provision of support services. A NASC may not be the provider of support services, to ensure that no actual or perceived conflict of interest exists."

As outlined above, NASCs are contracted by the Ministry of Health to work with disabled people to:
        • identify their needs
        • outline what disability support services are available
        • determine their eligibility for Ministry-funded support services.
A needs assessment looks at your abilities, resources, goals and needs, and how to maximise your independence. The NASC will work with you to ensure you can participate as fully as possible in society. NASC will then organise a package of services to best suit you. Support services can be provided by people in your networks or community, or by service providers.

You are eligible for a needs assessment if you have a physical, psychiatric, intellectual, sensory or age-related disability.

The disability must:
        • be likely to continue for at least six months.
        • limit your ability to function independently, to the extent that ongoing support is required.

What are NASCs’ key roles and responsibilities?

The contract the Ministry has with NASCs requires three things of the NASC:
        • Facilitating the needs-assessment process
        • Service coordination, which includes:
giving information about options
planning and coordinating the supports in a support plan
allocating some DSS-funded support services

Budget management – NASCs must manage the Ministry-funded Disability Support Services in a fair and cost-effect way.

Some NASCs have different staff working as Needs Assessment Facilitators and Service Coordinators. In others, staff take on both roles.

Subpages (1): NASC Directory