Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Our history

NSW Government Disability History Book

Plans are underway for the development of the NSW Government Disability History Book to recall the history of NSW Government disability services and to commemorate the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). La Trobe University has been commissioned to develop the book.

The History Book intends to:

  • capture the past, record the present and detail the transfer of funding to the NDIS, informing the history of disability reform and the shaping of modern disability services;
  • provide valuable recognition of the important work that has been undertaken by staff over many years to support people with disability; and
  • most importantly it will not only detail the journey of disability reform but how New South Wales (NSW) has developed best practice that will be carried forward to make the NDIS for NSW participants so successful.

The History Book will include:

  • interviews with clients and families;
  • interviews with NSW political and community leaders;
  • interviews with past and present staff and stakeholders;
  • information gathered from historical archives; and
  • historical images and photographs of disability services.

Details on how you can obtain a copy will be made available in early 2018.

Brief History of ADHC


The Department of Family and Community Services was created in April 2011 to provide better and more integrated services for vulnerable client groups in NSW.
Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) became an agency of this Department, along with:

  • Housing NSW
  • NSW Aboriginal Housing Office
  • Community Services
  • Office for Women's Policy
  • NSW Businesslink Pty Ltd


Between June 2009 and April 2011, ADHC was one of seven agencies in the Department of Human Services.


Prior to the creation of the Department of Human Services, we were known as the NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (DADHC). DADHC was formed in April 2001, bringing together:

  • the Ageing and Disability Department
  • Disability Services (formerly part of the Department of Community Services)
  • the Home Care Service of NSW.

DADHC was created to bring together support and services for older people, people with a disability and their families and carers in NSW. Although we are a relatively new agency, these services have been supporting the people of NSW for many years.
The oldest is the Home Care Service of NSW, which has been operating since 1943.
Home Care history
The Home Care Service of NSW was established in 1943 as the NSW Housekeeper’s Emergency Service. Its role was to provide housekeeping assistance during illness, childbirth and other emergencies.
From these modest beginnings, Home Care has grown into an organisation employing over 4,500 staff across NSW.

Home Care Timeline

1943: The NSW Housekeeper’s Emergency Service (forerunner of Home Care Service of NSW) was formed to provide assistance to women in illness, childbirth or other emergencies.
1950s: The service was largely dedicated to child care and family life by providing full-time and live-in housekeepers.
1960s: The service shifted emphasis from helping mothers to helping aged persons
1969: State Grants (Home Care) Act (1969) was passed by the Australian Government to provide financial assistance to the states for home care and other welfare services for the aged.
1970s: Period of rapid expansion for the service with country branches opening up all over NSW, as well as metropolitan branches being established for the first time. Branches began to offer help to families with children with a disability.
1976: The Housekeepers Emergency Service was renamed the Home Help Service of NSW. The number of households receiving help per month was 5,925.
1979: Aboriginal service coordinators were employed in Home Care branches.
Early 80s: The range of services was broadened to include handy person, personal care and housekeeping services.
1982: The Home Help Service was renamed Home Care Service of NSW and formalised in the Community Welfare Act 1982.
1984: Aboriginal Home Care branches were established.
1986: The Home and Community Care (HACC) Program was formed to provide integrated and comprehensive services focusing on the needs of frail aged and younger people with a disability.
1988: Home Care Service Act was proclaimed. Home Care Service of NSW became a Statutory Corporation.
1991: Home Care Service Act was amended to incorporate the activities of the new Hostel and Care Program to increase the range of accommodation options available to aged people in NSW on low to moderate incomes. The program operated as a discrete unit of Home Care.
1999: Hostel and Care Program was transferred to the NSW Ageing & Disability Department.
2001: The NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care was formed.
2009: The Department of Human Services was formed, which includes Ageing, Disability and Home Care.
2011: The Department of Human Services is renamed the Department of Family and Community Services.
2016: Home care services were transferred to Australian Unity

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