Ageing, Disability & Home Care

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Our history

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) is one of the agencies that make up 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.

Before June 2009

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.


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.

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