ACWA Disability Project

The core purpose of ACWA’s disability project, ‘Falling through the gaps? Delivering the best possible outcomes for vulnerable children and young people with disability’, is to identify practical pathways, initiatives, tools, training and other resources that will enhance sector capability and practice in this important area of the system.

As the first step in this initiative, ACWA is undertaking a key analysis of children and young people in out-of-home care to assess:

  • The prevalence of children and young people with a diagnosed disability within this cohort.
  • The potential extent of undiagnosed or under-diagnosed disability within the cohort.
  • The nature and scope of NDIS packages and plans currently in place, and the adequacy of those plans to meet individual needs.
  • The potential opportunity for other children and young people to access supports through NDIS packages.
  • Barriers and challenges to children and young people and their carers being able to effectively access the NDIS.
  • Looking at those causative factors, consider potential opportunities for improving support for these young people, consider potential opportunities for enhancing support for these young people.

This review covers the whole spectrum of out-of-home care arrangements across NSW including foster care, residential care models (ITTC, ITC, THBC), Alternative Care Arrangements, Specialist Disability Services and Transitional models (TSIL, After Care).

Secondly, based on the insights drawn from the abovementioned analysis, ACWA will then work with key stakeholders on identifying and implementing enhancements to practice, to deliver improved outcomes for children and young people with disabilities in out-of-home care.

Under this project, ACWA is engaging with a range of stakeholders, including out-of-home care and disability service providers, related government/ regulatory agencies, peaks, carers, and children and young people, to identify and implement key strategies that will lead to enhanced practice in this sphere.

We anticipate that the insights from this work will support exploration of this issue in relation to vulnerable children with disability who are supported by member agencies in other contexts, through programs such as Intensive Family Preservation, MST-CAN and the Family Referral Service.

Enquiries regarding ACWA’s Disability Project can be directed to Project Director Lyn Ainsworth: lyn@acwa.asn.au