Brooke Kooymans
Social Worker – Rehability Australia

Brooke Kooymans brings almost 20 years’ experience working as a social worker in acquired disability, complex rehabilitation and catastrophic injury management working with Australia’s leading government and non-government agencies in both the public and private sectors. Brooke has specialised over her career in acquried brain injury working in both the hospital and community sector. Brooke has completed post graduate qualifications including graduate certificate in rehabilitation case management, a Masters of Social Work and is currently enrolled in her Phd at Griffith University. Brooke has been working in private practice in this sector for the last 14 years, is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, presents at local and national conference on her work, is a professional supervisor, guest lecturer and the convener of the AASW Qld branch Disability Practice Group.

Presentation Title
Acquired Brain Injury and the NDIS: Understanding the practice challenges in community sector, through a Social Work lens

Short Abstract
The needs of individuals with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) are often multi-faceted indicating the necessary involvement of multiple professional disciplines and services. Yet, policy frameworks and organisational imperatives dictate the provision and delivery of services, which creates challenges and tensions for individuals with ABI and the professionals that work with them. The NDIS has created a new landscape for both individual with disability and the professions which now service this new marketplace.Individuals with ABI present a unique and challenging client group, who typically found access to funded disability services problematic or non-existent, who now have the opportunity to access not only core supports, but capacity building opportunities that may enable a better quality of life outcome. Accessing and navigating this new service sector is confronting, which requires not only the understanding of the legislation and policy of the NDIS and their insurance framework, but also connection with adequately skilled professionals.Social workers have a long history in the Australian disability sector. They apply a person-centred approach and maintain a duel focus on empowering and improvement for individuals; and navigating inequality, injustice and discrimination that may exist for individuals within systems and structures. This enables Social workers to facilitate social change and development, create social cohesion, and empower individuals through skill and capacity building, which are foundational elements of the NDIS. This presentation will consider the roll out of the NDIS and the practice challenges in the community sector for individuals with ABI and how these are being navigated and negotiated, through a Social Work lens.