Ageing, Disability & Home Care

Resource guide

The information below includes an overview of resources, services and supports that Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) currently funds for children and young people with disability and their families, as well as links and resources that service providers may find useful in applying the Supports for Children and Young People Aged 9 to 18 Years and their Families: Framework for Service Providers.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The NDIS is an Australia-wide scheme to support people with permanent and significant disability which will replace the current disability support system.

The NDIS will give people with disability real choice and control over their lives by allowing them to decide what supports they receive, when and how often.

The Scheme will be rolled out across NSW over two years between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2018.

Information about how to access the NDIS, along with available ADHC pathways, can be found on the Getting A Service Page.

Accessing services

Ability Links NSW assists people with disability, their family and carers to access supports in their community outside the traditional service system. Ability Links NSW Coordinators work with people with disability and their family to help them plan for their future and build networks.

Everyday living

  • Specialist supports (such as therapy and behaviour supports) work with children/young people and their family to identify goals and develop their skills to increase participation in all aspects of life.
  • Behaviour supports are available for families, service providers, school staff and other professionals who may need assistance in supporting children and young people who have behaviour of concern.
  • Self care supports are available for young people with disability who need assistance with self-care tasks and activities of daily living so that they can continue to live in their own home and community and maintain their independence.
  • The Community Care Supports Program provides basic maintenance and support services for younger people with disability and also provides support services for their carers to help them to live more independently in their own home and community.

Transition from school and learn new skills

  • The Transition Support Project is a joint approach between ADHC and the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) for young people aged 15 to 17. It provides person centred, low intensity supports including work experience, mentoring, vocational training and TAFE. The project is offered in a limited number of schools state wide, and is focused on students at risk of disengaging from school. For more information, people can contact their school principal to find out if it is offered in their school.
  • Transition to Work is a two year program that helps young people with a disability gain employment after leaving school. The program provides skills development training, assistance in building a working lifestyle, and with work placements or specific job training.
  • The Community Participation Program provides young people opportunities to participate in meaningful leisure, recreational and social activities, continue learning, and expand friendships.

Build social participation

People with disability aged 0 to 24 years and their families can access flexible social supports funding to provide opportunities to socially participate, build relationships, and positively engage in activities in their community. Funding is provided to give children, young people and their families flexibility to access social supports within their local communities, such as local sports clubs, scouts/girl guides, music, drama or art classes, respite camps, after school and vacation activities, or providing social networking and peer support opportunities.

Transition to independent living

The Independent Living Skills Initiative module (ILSI) can support young people with disability to prepare to transition from living with their families to independent living arrangements in the community. The ILSI provides training in domestic tasks, money management, technology and personal appointments, while incorporating support from family and friends.

Transition from care

The Leaving Care Program supports young people with disability who are preparing to transition from the parental responsibility of the Minister for Family and Community Services (at 18 years of age).This program provides support in securing accommodation, gaining independence, social interaction, and building networks.

The CREATE Foundation provides information, advice, training and systemic advocacy for children and young people in out of home care and young people leaving care.  The CREATE Foundation also delivers The Ability Project across NSW that includes workshops and camps for young people in out of home care and leaving care about life skills, leadership, empowerment, and supported decision making. 

Transition from paediatric to adult health services

  • The ACI Transition Care Network helps young people to find appropriate adult health services, provides information and support on a range of health and lifestyle related matters, and follows up to help make sure they stay engaged in adult services.
  • The ACI Intellectual Disability Network website has links to information, services and resources for students with intellectual disability, including pathways to health services tools for health services and school clinics, and transition school clinics.
  • Trapeze, The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, is an adolescent chronic care service that provides care coordination, education and health coaching and practical and financial support.


Families can access a range of options that provide positive and meaningful experiences for children and young people with disability, such as recreation and social activities, at the same time as providing them with planned short term, time-limited breaks from their usual care-giving role.

  • ADHC funds a range of supports for families during difficult times of stress or crisis. These programs are designed to support families to identify their strengths and build capacity and resilience and include targeted supports for Aboriginal families and families from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
  • Individualised flexible respite packages can be used to purchase a range of supports in a range of settings, including care in the home of the person with disability, with a host family and/or in community settings through day outings, camps, holidays, social or recreation activities. Some of these social activities, such as camps, include siblings.

Mainstream settings

Children and young people with disability and their families receive a range of supports from mainstream organisations, NGOs and other government agencies.


  • Children and young people with disability and special needs attending public, catholic or independent schools have individual plans developed and implemented by school staff in partnership with the student and their family. Individual plans identify the students’ needs and supports and outlines adjustments and procedures to maximise student access and participation at school.
  • Children and young people with disability and special needs who attend public schools are supported through a wide range of specialist disability programs and approaches that are provided within regular classes, support classes and special schools.


  • Youth health services are specialist services that provide multi-disciplinary, primary health care to young people. Focusing on engaging disadvantaged young people, they deliver flexible and unique services to young people in relaxed and comfortable youth-friendly environments.
  • Headspace provides mental and health wellbeing support, information and services to young people (aged 12 to 25) through over 70 centres nation-wide.
  • NSW School-Link Initiative aims to improve awareness of Intellectual Disability and Mental Health in the school population. This involves supporting the mental health of children and adolescents with intellectual disability and building the disability expertise of partners.
  • SchoolKit Clinics provide support to children and adolescents with intellectual disability and complex needs in some schools in NSW. They bring together the people involved in a student’s care in round-table discussions to address health and educational issues in a holistic manner.

Child protection, wellbeing and sexual assault services

  • Family Referral Services are NSW Government funded, non-government operated, regional child protection and wellbeing services linking vulnerable children, young people and their families with appropriate support services in their local area. Priority is given to clients with multiple and complex needs including disabilities.
  • Child Protection and Counselling Service are NSW Health services providing tertiary, trauma-informed specialist treatment for families with children and young people, where there is significant child protection concern caused by parental/carer abuse and neglect.
  • NSW Health Sexual Assault Services provide crisis and ongoing counselling services for victims of sexual assault (child and adult) and non-offending family members; specialist forensic and medical services as part on an interagency response; advocacy and court preparation and support services. Child Protection Helpline is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, statewide call centre staffed by professionally qualified caseworkers to receive and screen all reports regarding concerns about a child or young person's safety or wellbeing, including if you think a child or young person is at risk of abuse or harm, contact 132 111.

Advocacy, information and capacity building

  • The NSW Advocate for Children and Young People promotes children’s participation in decisions that affect their lives, and advocates for and monitors their safety, welfare and well-being, giving priority to the interests and needs of vulnerable children.
  • Resourcing Families provides information, ideas and events for families, friends and allies of people with disability so that they can have knowledge, skills, confidence and networks to plan a good life for and with a person with disability.
  • Family Advocacy provides a range of information, resources and support to families to enable them to act as advocates with and on behalf of a family member with disability.
  • Disability Advocacy is an advocacy service that operates in the Hunter, New England and Mid-North Coast regions of NSW.
  • The Intellectual Disability Rights Service is a specialist legal information and advocacy service for people with intellectual disability.
  • The Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW is an organisation for people from non-English speaking backgrounds with disability, their families and carers.
  • Create is the peak body representing the voices of all children and young people in out of home care, including children and young people with disability.

For more information, see the Advocacy and Information Service Directory prepared by ADHC.

Support planning and decision making

Person/family centred practice

Family/Parenting support

  • The Raising Children’s Network website offers up-to-date, research-based material to support parents in the day-to-day work of raising children and young people.
  • Resourcing Parents provides parenting education information to parents and carers of children aged 0-18 years.
  • The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program is for parents with children aged 2-12 years that provides practical strategies and tools to help them confidently manage their children’s behaviour, prevent or respond to problems developing and build strong, healthy relationships.
  • Triple P (Stepping Stones) is based on Triple P but has been developed for parents of children with a developmental disability.
  • Kidsmatter is an Australian mental health and wellbeing initiative set in primary schools and in early childhood education and care services. Their website includes information and resources for supporting children with disabilities and mental health problems.
  • Family Referral Service is a NSW Government funded, non-government operated, regional child protection and wellbeing services linking vulnerable children, young people and their families with appropriate support services in their local area. Priority is given to clients with multiple and complex needs including disabilities.

Increasing participation and inclusion

Inclusive education

  • Every Student Every School is an initiative providing better learning and support for students with a disability, learning difficulties or behaviour support needs in public schools through a strong focus on professional learning and support for teachers and support staff.
  • NSW Department of Education and Communities has a range of useful resources:
  • Disability Action Plan 2011-2015(PDF) is part of the NSW Department of Education and Communities’ strategy to better engage people with a disability
  • Supporting Student’s Behaviour Needs brochure(PDF).
  • Inclusion support agencies are funded to work directly with services to provide practical advice and facilitate access to a range of support designed to build services’ capacity to crease an inclusive quality education and care.
  • Positive Partnerships uses evidence based materials and practical resources to deliver online courses, training for teachers and school leaders, and workshops for parents and carers to improve educational outcomes for school-age students on the autism spectrum.
  • Family Advocacy provides a range of resources regarding inclusive education, including:
  • video clips from families on what inclusion means to them, how family advocacy has supported them, and how families can support inclusion
  • a short film sharing Jacob’s story; his journey transitioning from primary to an inclusive high school
  • Things that might be helpful to consider when choosing an education for your child Dr Robert Jackson
  • Why should schools include children with a disability Dr Robert Jackson.
  • CATS – Creating Accessible Teaching and Support is dedicated to improving the quality of teaching and support for students with disability.
  • Children with Disability Australia has prepared a range of issues papers including ‘Belonging and Connection of School Students with Disability’ and ‘Inclusion in Education’.
  • Workgroup on Principles and Practices in Natural Environments, Community of Practice: Part C Settings, (2008, March), Seven key principles: Looks like/ doesn’t look like(PDF) for an overview of service delivery in natural settings.

Transition from school

Support to build capacity of providers

  • Clinical Innovation and Governance (CIG) is responsible for practice leadership for therapy and behaviour support services, policy and research as well as practice improvement for services to clients with complex needs and challenging behaviour. CIG has a range of projects to help build the capacity of the sector including:
  • Click here (PDF) for more information on these and other capacity building initiatives, including webinars that providers can participate in.
  • The Practice Improvement Framework is one of a range of tools developed by ADHC’s Clinical Innovation and Governance Directorate to help practitioners working with people with disability, including improving work practice in specialist behaviour support.
  • The Taking Time Trauma-Informed Practice Framework has been developed to support people with intellectual disability who have experience/s of trauma. The overall aim of the framework is to promote a trauma informed disability sector with a particular focus on working with people with an intellectual disability.
  • The Intensive Sector Development Project is supporting the development of sector capacity and establishing accountability of Restricted Practices across the NSW disability sector until full implementation of the NDIS.
  • The Developmental Psychiatry Clinic is a joint ADHC and NSW Health initiative that provides a tertiary consultation service for paediatricians, psychiatrists and other practitioners regarding children and adolescents with intellectual disability and behavioural difficulties.

Other key strategies and policies

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