Working with a Host Provider
A Host Provider is the provider who will receive your individualised funding from the Department and assist you to plan, choose your disability supports and manage the funding.
The Host Provider model lets you make decisions about whether you want to take some, or all, of the responsibility for purchasing and managing your disability supports and services. It also lets you make the decisions about how you will receive your disability support and services and where these will come from.
If you want the freedom to choose who you engage as workers but you want to share the legal responsibility of being the employer, working with a Host Provider might be a good option for you. Using a Host Provider could also be a better option than Direct Payments if you want to manage our own funds and engage your own staff but do not want to have the responsibility for reporting use of the funding to the Department.
In the story, Starting self-direction, Jane Hudson writes about the decision she made to work with a host provider and the early steps she took to start the process of self-direction in a regional town
Systems and Support
Whatever level of responsibility you take under the Host Provider model it is important to establish a system to manage the work that you will be doing; a system that works for you. The Host Provider may offer mentoring and advice on how to do this. Alternatively, you can purchase commercially available recruitment and payroll services to assist you where this support is not offered by the Host Provider directly. This may be especially useful if you are using a self-managed funds transfer system with the Host Provider.
Different Host Providers will offer different levels of support and assistance. Some provide higher levels of support and others basically take responsibility for the accountability of the funding and negotiate with you to manage your own supports and funding.
In this video, Heather Ruck talks about some of the responsibilities she negotiated with her Host Provider.
Choosing a Host Provider
Once you are clear about the type and level of support you require to direct staff and manage funding it would be helpful to ask a range of Host Providers if they can meet your needs and then compare what they can offer. The article, Working with a Service Provider, suggests three questions you can use to help choose a Host Provider that best suits you and your needs.
The Department requires all organisations to detail what they offer as a host before they are listed as an endorsed Host Provider. This information is in the Your Life Your Choice Host Provider List on the Department website.
The following articles are written by four Queensland Host Providers and describe how they work with people to establish self-directed arrangements.
- An individual and custom-designed framework for achieving good lives through self-direction
- A journey with people towards self-direction
- Mamre: a vision of inclusive lives and self-direction
- Moving towards self-direction: a regional Host Provider perspective
The table Levels of Choice and Control is a guideline to assist you to think about levels of choice and control available to you to purchase your supports and services and manage your financial arrangements. This table is a general overview of the important questions; it does not define what all Host Providers offer.
Whether you choose the Host Provider or the Direct Payments model your funding will include a component for administration and management. It is important to remember to factor these costs into your budget.
Under the Host Provider model costs will include the Host Provider fee which will differ from organisation to organisation and which is usually determined by the arrangement you make with your Provider.
Read more about What does Self Direction looks like?