Mum in home care plea for Sunshine Care Services

Sue Meredith and son Alex, of Alexander Heights.
Sue Meredith and son Alex, of Alexander Heights.

ALEXANDER Heights mother Sue Meredith is concerned about the possible closure of a disability support service.

Her son Alex (27) uses respite care at Sunflower Care Services during the week while Ms Meredith works.

The service, which operates six residential properties in Marangaroo, Carabooda and Wanneroo for people with disabilities, has not had its contract renewed by the Disability Services Commission and is set to close by November 30.

“We cannot understand this decision to withdraw funding for such a successful |service that provides a home away from home for our children. I despair at the thought of Sunflower closing and what that will mean for Alex,” Ms Meredith said.

A Sunflower Care Services spokeswoman said more than 40 people who live at the centres and use the service’s respite care now faced an uncertain future, with limited accommodation options available.

Supporters of Sunshine Care Services attended a protest at Parliament House on Thursday.

Disability Services Commission (DSC) director general Ron Chalmers said the commission was in a legal process with Sunflower and the contract had only been going for 11 months.

“We were receiving concerns about the quality of care and services provided at Sunflower; these were not trivial,” he said. “They were raised by a range of people.”

Mr Chalmers said the Commission organised an audit process to monitor the standards at Sunflower and a subsequent report verified the Commission’s concerns.

“We chose not to renew their contract,” he said.

But Sunflower owners Joseph and Katherine Karunarathna released a statement that said they were not aware of legal proceedings and rejected the complaints, which they claim came from one employee.

“If the DSC has any further concerns, we request that they raise them with us,” the statement said.