Children with disabilities/special needs

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Children with disabilities/special needs in the AIFS library catalogue

Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Implementation Reset: project consultation report

National Disability Insurance Agency (Australia)
Canberra, A.C.T. : National Disability Insurance Agency, 2020.
One component of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach for children under the age of 7 susceptible to - or experiencing - developmental delay or disability. However, a review found that its implementation needs to be 'reset' to better meet its objectives. In response, the National Disability Insurance Agency has launched an ECEI Implementation Reset project to identify the issues and implement the recommendations. It aims to improve outcomes for young children and their families, enable the right children to receive the right support at the right time, and develop short and long term solutions for identified pain points and gaps, and has involved extensive consultations and analysis. This paper outlines the project's findings and recommendations, and will help inform consultations in the second phase of the project.

Supporting young children and their families early, to reach their full potential: National Disability Insurance Scheme.

National Disability Insurance Agency (Australia)
Canberra, A.C.T. : National Disability Insurance Agency, 2020.
This paper calls for public feedback on how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can improve the way it supports families with young children. In 2016, the National Disability Insurance Agency developed the current NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention approach, for children susceptible to - or experiencing - developmental delay or disability, but a review found that its implementation needed to be reset to better meet its objectives. This paper outlines recommendations for reform and sets out questions for consideration, concerning targeted support, Tailored Independent Assessments, timing, and transitioning out of the scheme.

Education in remote and complex environments

Laming A
Canberra : Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, 2020.
This report presents the findings of an inquiry into the education of students in remote communities, and the role of culture, family, community and country in delivering better outcomes. Particular issues investigated included: children's journey through early childhood, primary, secondary, vocational and tertiary education in remote communities; key barriers, such as the impact of drought on families and communities; community and family structures that support attendance at school; effective government initiatives that have enabled greater educational outcomes; innovative approaches to workforce, including recruitment, professional learning, retention and support; flexible delivery mechanisms for the Australian Curriculum to meet local needs and interests; and successful pathways for entering further education. The inquiry found that Australians growing up in regional and remote areas have lower educational attainment rates in school, and that a range of factors contribute to gaps in access and equity across a child's education journey. A range of recommendations are proposed, including empowering local families and communities, improving the education available to children and young people with disability, improving access to mental health treatment and support in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, improving access to quality early childhood education, and adult literacy campaigns.

Violence prevention and early intervention for mothers and children with disability: building promising practice : key findings and future directions.

Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety Limited
Sydney : ANROWS, 2020.
This paper highlights the key findings and policy implications from a recent study into best practice in early intervention programs for domestic and family violence in families with additional support needs. The study reviewed processes at one program, Family Referral Services in New South Wales, a government-funded service to improve access to services for at risk families who do not meet the threshold for statutory child protection, and consulted with mothers with disability and children and young people with disability about their experiences. The study identified that a holistic approach to safety and a focus on barriers to support is key to responding to the needs of these families.

Violence prevention and early intervention for mothers and children with disability: building promising practice

Robinson S, Valentine K, Newton B, Smyth C and Parmenter N
Sydney : ANROWS, 2020.
Domestic and family violence early intervention programs are intended to identify risks within families and ensure that timely responses are delivered before risks escalate. However, families with additional support needs are one of several groups that face challenges with these programs. This report provides a case study of one program, Family Referral Services in New South Wales, a government-funded service to improve access to services for at risk families who do not meet the threshold for statutory child protection. The study aims to identify effective processes and practices in the service, as well as challenges and limitations. It investigates the program characteristics that provide effective support to families with multiple and intersecting support needs, how Family Referral Services respond to client needs, and the experiences of mothers with disability - and children and young people with disability - with family support services and the perceived facilitators and barriers to support. The findings highlight a range of positive practices and points to improve well-known blockages in service systems.

More than isolated: the experience of children and young people with disability and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic : report on CYDA's 2020 COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and children and young people with disability survey

Dickinson H and Yates S
Collingwood, Vic. : Children and Young People with Disability Australia, 2020.
This report investigates the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on children and young people with disability and their families in Australia. It presents the findings of a survey with 697 members of advocacy group Children and Young People with Disability Australia, largely family members, conducted between 11 March to 23 April 2020. Participants were asked about the impact on education, employment and income, health and service access and availability, access to essential supplies and medication, self-isolation, and mental health and wellbeing. This survey aims not only to help Children and Young People with Disability Australia support and advocate for its members now, but also to help plan for future emergency scenarios. This report sets out the key findings of the survey, identifying areas requiring responses, issues that will require quicker responses during future emergencies, and identifying future research priorities. The survey shows that the families of children and young people with disability have been affected in ways very similar to the rest of the population, but that these disruptions and difficulties have been heightened by the precarious circumstances that these families were already in.

Attachment security, early childhood intervention and the National Disability Insurance Scheme : a risk and rights analysis.

Alexander S, Frederico M and Long M
Children Australia v. 44 no. 4 Dec 2019: 187-193
This article argues that attachment security should be the central focus of early childhood intervention services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It highlights the evidence on the importance of attachment security for child development and explains why it should be a key consideration in the design and implementation of the NDIS early intervention services. It also considers barriers to addressing attachment security within the NDIS model and suggests how these could be addressed.

TEACHaR - Transforming Educational Achievement for Children in Home-based and Residential care: outcomes that matter

Anglicare Victoria
Collingwood, Vic. : Anglicare Victoria, 2019
In this booklet, Anglicare Victoria highlights the impact of their TEACHaR program for children in out of home care. TEACHaR - 'Transforming Educational Achievement for Children in Home-based and Residential care' - was developed in response to evidence that children and young people living in out of home care often experience poor education outcomes in comparison to the general student population. The program aims to: strengthen student school engagement and attendance; raise literacy, numeracy and academic skills; support students to complete Year 12 or its equivalent; and support students to develop more positive feelings and attitudes towards learning. This booklet describes the program and presents comments from practitioners, case studies, and findings from a recent evaluation to demonstrate the positive impacts of the program.

Aboriginal health and wellbeing services: putting community-driven, strengths-based approaches into practice

Bulloch H, Fogarty W and Bellchambers K
Carlton South, Vic : Lowitja Institute, 2019.
This report provides learnings for effective practice for non-government organisations in the Aboriginal health and wellbeing field. It presents insights from three case studies: Laynhapuy Health, a primary health care service for Yolnju people in East Arnhem Land; Waminda, in the Shoalhaven region of New South Wales, which provides a range of services including general practice, antenatal and postnatal care, justice support, and social enterprise programs; and Noah, also in Shoalhaven, which provides NDIS, education and playgroup services to children and young people with special needs and their families. Despite the substantial differences between the two sites and the scope of the three organisations, there were strong commonalities in the challenges they faced and the effectiveness of strengths-based, community-driven, holistic and person-centred approaches. Learnings are presented for understandings of health and wellbeing, effective approaches in service delivery, and broad, organisational issues relating to governance, program design and staffing. The report concludes with recommendations for funders, policy makers and associated stakeholders.

Systems and service supports for children and families living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

McLean S
Hilton, S. Aust. : Emerging Minds, 2019.
Written for practitioners in child, family, adult, and health services, this paper outlines some of the broader issues related the provision of appropriate, timely and relevant services and supports for children and families living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). It highlights some of the complexities of service provision for this group of children, focusing on child protection, family support and child mental health services. This paper is the fifth in a series about working with families affected by FASD.

How to support caregivers and families living with FASD

McLean S
Hilton, S. Aust. : Emerging Minds, 2019.
Written for practitioners in child, family, adult, and health services, this paper highlights the likely impacts of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) on families and the types of supports they find helpful. It provides information on parents' and carers' experiences of supporting a child living with FASD, their relationships with professionals, and their support needs. Stable caregiving has been identified as a significant protective factor for children living with FASD and practitioners can play a key role in helping to support parents. This paper is the fourth in a series about working with families affected by FASD.

Disability, ageing and carers, Australia: summary of findings, 2018.

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra, ACT : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2019.
This website presents findings from the 2018 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC). It provides charts and spreadsheets of data about people with disability, older people, and their carers, including a breakdown of key demographic variables and comparisons with the last survey in 2015. Topics include need for assistance, service use, living arrangements, income, education, employment, discrimination, social participation, and, for carers, reasons for providing care. In 2018, 17.7% of the population reported having a disability, with 5.7% having a profound or severe disability. Though there has been no increase in the labour force participation rate for people with disability since the last survey, there has been an increase in the proportion with a higher education qualification. 10.8% of the population reported being a carer. An additional section has now added to this resource, looking at the prevalence of autism and its impact. 21,983 households took part in the 2018 survey.

Overshadowed: the mental health needs of children and young people with learning disabilities

Burke C, Hastings R and Lavis P
London, U.K. : Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition, 2019.
This report was commissioned to better understand the mental health needs of young people with learning disabilities in the United Kingdom, including the number of young people with both learning disabilities and mental health problems, the facilitators and barriers to them and their families in accessing support, and current policy, guidance and practice. The study involved a review of the evidence base, consultations with professionals, and focus groups with young people aged 11-25 and their parents about their experiences of mental health problems and the support they receive. Based on this information, the report presents ten recommendations aimed at national and local agencies.

Progress report

Andrews K
Canberra : Parliament House, 2019.
The new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is being progressively rolled out across Australia. The Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme was established to review the implementation, performance and governance of the NDIS, as well as its administration and expenditure. This is the Committee's second progress report and covers the period from 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2018. The Committee held national consultations to help inform its review, identifying issues regarding eligibility of people with psychosocial disabilities, access and delivery of the NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention Approach, transitional arrangements, and hearing services. The report presents a discussion of the issues and recommendations for improvement.

TEACHaR - Transforming Educational Achievement for Children in Home-based and Residential care: evaluation 2018.

Giles D
Collingwood, Vic. : Anglicare Victoria, 2018
This report evaluates the impact of a program to improve the educational outcomes of children in out of home care. Anglicare Victoria's TEACHaR program ('Transforming Educational Achievement for Children in Home-based and Residential care') was developed in response to evidence that children and young people living in out of home care often experience poor education outcomes in comparison to the general student population. The program aims to: strengthen student school engagement and attendance; raise literacy, numeracy and academic skills; support students to complete Year 12 or its equivalent; and support students to develop more positive feelings and attitudes towards learning. The evaluation assessed the impact of the program on school attendance, attitudes to school and learning, literacy and numeracy, and psychosocial problems, with a sample of 31 children and young people from residential and family-based care placements. 10 of the children reported an Indigenous background, and 18 had an intellectual disability or developmental impairment. The findings and possible mechanisms at work are discussed.

Robots and the delivery of care services: what is the role for government in stewarding disruptive innovation?

Dickinson H, Smith C, Carey N and Carey G
Melbourne : ANZSOG, 2018.
The development of robotics has begun to offer a potential solution to the demand and supply-side pressures facing the care sector. Although there is growing amount of research into the issue of robots in social and care settings, the majority of this literature focuses on legal, technical, and consumer matters. This report looks into the neglected public policy and public management issues. It explores the roles that robots should - and should not - play in care delivery, and the role that government has as a steward in shaping these roles, drawing on interviews with 35 stakeholders from government, academia, and technology.

Evaluation of Plumtree Children's Services' 'Now and Next' program

Moore T, Fong M and Rushton S
Parkville, Vic. : Centre for Community Child Heath, 2018.
The 'Now and Next' program aims to build capacity in families with young children with a disability or developmental delay in New South Wales. It was developed by Plumtree Children's Services Inc. to help families cultivate skills to achieve positive outcomes, establish goals for themselves, and connect with other families to provide mutual support and motivation. This evaluation was commissioned to assess the implementation and impacts of the program. The process evaluation component looked at whether the program had been delivered as intended, if it was reaching the target groups, and how participants rated the program. The outcome evaluation looked at participant outcomes, in particular achievement of short-term goals, empowerment, and sense of hope and wellbeing. Data was collected at the beginning, middle, and end of the program, from program facilitators and the 154 families participating in the program. This report presents the findings of the evaluation, and makes recommendations for development.

Supporting the mental health of mothers of children with a disability : health professional perceptions of need, role, and challenges.

Gilson K, Johnson S, Davis E, Brunton S, Swift E, Reddihough D and Williams K
Child : Care, Health and Development v. 44 no. 5 Sep 2018: 721-729
This article explores how health professionals view their role in supporting the mental health of mothers of children with a disability. Interviews were conducted with 13 allied health professionals, general practitioners, and paediatricians about their perceived role and responsibility to provide support, what strategies they employed, and the challenges they faced. The implications for training and policy are discussed. This study follows on by another by the authors on the high rates of mental concerns among mothers of children with a disability, and the types of support they needed.

Mental health care needs and preferences for mothers of children with a disability.

Gilson K, Davis E, Johnson S, Gains J, Reddihough D and Williams K
Child : Care, Health and Development v. 44 no. 3 May 2018: 384-391
This article adds to the evidence on the mental health of mothers of children with a disability and how they can be better supported. It presents the findings of a survey with 294 mothers regarding background characteristics, anxiety, depression, psychological distress, suicidality, help seeking, barriers to accessing support, when support is most needed, and preferences for different types of support services. The findings reveal high rates of distress, depression, anxiety, and suicidality, and a high need for support - which many were not accessing.

Implementation of the NDIS in the early childhood intervention sector in NSW: final report

Purcal C, Hill T, Meltzer A, Boden N and Fisher K
Sydney : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, 2018.
The transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is underway in Australia, and will enable - and require - families to make choices about which services best meet their children's needs. This study was commissioned by Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) NSW/ACT to investigate the experiences of families of children aged 0-8 years with developmental delay or disability, and of service providers, in the transition to the NDIS in New South Wales. This report presents the findings of the study and discusses the implications for good practice. The study found a wide range of experiences among both families and service providers regarding preparations for the NDIS and their first experiences while in the Scheme. It found many families - especially disadvantaged families - continued to experience delays and communication issues, and though service providers had advanced in their adaptation to NDIS processes, systemic issues remained.

Mapping project: support for siblings of children and adults with disability : final report

Siblings Australia Inc.
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Siblings Australia, 2018
This mapping project investigated the state of supports and services for siblings of people with a disability in Australia. Drawing on surveys with service providers, parents, and adult siblings, it provides a snapshot of support usage, needs, and gaps, and will inform the updating of online directories, the national consultation group, and Information Linkages and Capacity Building within the National Disability Insurance Scheme. This report also provides information from the surveys on the characteristics of siblings, the challenges of being a sibling, and impacts.

Using telehealth technologies to engage and support parents of children with disabilities: an evaluation of a novel telehealth parenting programme

Hinton S
2017.
Telehealth technologies offer a promising service-delivery model for families of children with disability, but few evidence-based parenting programmes are available using this modality, with even fewer for children with a disability. This thesis reports on a study to develop a telehealth-based parenting intervention for parents of children with a disability and investigate its efficacy and acceptability. The thesis begins with a systematic review of the literature then presents findings with a study of parents on their telehealth-related preferences, access to and use of the internet, degree of comfort with a range of online and telehealth-based technologies, the acceptability of online parenting training, and preferences. The results were used to inform the development of a telehealth-based parenting intervention for this population, based on the Triple P model. The thesis then describes the evaluation protocol used then reports on the findings of the randomised controlled trial conducted. Ninety-eight parents were randomly assigned to either the new telehealth intervention or care as usual over 8 weeks. Immediately after the intervention, the evaluation found that parents receiving the Triple P Online-Disability (TPOL-D) intervention had significant improvements in parenting self-efficacy and parenting styles, though not for reports of child behavioural and emotional problems. However, at 3-month follow up, the parenting improvement were either maintained or enhanced and benefits were now seen for child behavioural and emotional problems. Parents were also asked about intervention adherence, overall satisfaction, therapist identification and alliance, perceived helpfulness of individual components, and useability of online modules.

Experiences and needs of carers of Aboriginal children with a disability : a qualitative study.

DiGiacomo M, Green A, Delaney P, Delaney J, Patradoon-Ho P, Davidson P and Abbott P
BMC Family Practice v. 18 2017: Article 96
This article investigates the experiences and needs of families of Aboriginal children with a disability. It presents insights from interviews with 16 mothers and 3 grandmothers attending an Aboriginal health service, regarding caring for their child and family, challenges, formal and informal social supports, carer health and wellbeing, financial expenses, non-economic costs, and attitudes towards non-family respite care. The findings have implications for designing services and supports for these families.

Parenting children with additional needs: Parenting Today in Victoria research brief

Matthews J, Millward C, Forbes F, Wade C and Seward A
East Melbourne, Vic. : Parenting Research Centre, 2017.
The 2016 'Parenting Today in Victoria' survey provided a comprehensive look at the concerns, needs and behaviours of parents in Victoria. This paper focuses on the parents of children with additional needs such as disabilities and chronic health conditions. It explores how these parents are faring, the activities they did with their children, sense of parenting confidence, support networks, experiences of help seeking, and use of playgroups or parenting groups, as compared to parents of children without additional needs. The paper concludes with the implications for policy and the importances of family-centred approaches. The study found that these parents are more likely to have poorer health and wellbeing than other parents, and more likely to be single, female and not in full-time paid employment. However, the parents of children with additional needs interacted with their children in a very similar way to other parents and most were just as likely to have confidence in themselves as parents, excepting parents with a child with psychological or behavioural difficulties.

Progress report

Andrews K
Canberra : Parliament House, 2017.
The new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is being progressively rolled out across Australia. The Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme was established to review the implementation, performance and governance of the NDIS, as well as its administration and expenditure. This is the Committee's second progress report and covers the period from 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2018. The Committee held national consultations to help inform its review, identifying issues regarding planning processes, transparency and responsiveness, funding, non-contextual pricing for services, portal issues, transport market design, and the early childhood intervention pathway. The report presents a discussion of the issues and recommendations for improvement.

Provision of services under the NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention Approach

Andrews K
Canberra : Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, 2017.
The Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach aims to determine and facilitate the most appropriate support pathway for preschool children with a disability or developmental delay, as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). As part of the evaluation of the NDIS, this inquiry examines the provision of services under the ECEI, including eligibility criteria, service needs of clients, adequacy of funding, associated costs such as for diagnosis, effectiveness, delays and timeframes, information provision to potential clients, accessibility particularly in rural and remote areas, and the principle of choice. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the inquiry.

Implementation of the NDIS in the early childhood intervention sector in NSW. Report 1, Findings from data collection Round 1

Purcal C, Meltzer A, Hill T and Fisher K
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, 2017.
The transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is underway in Australia, and will enable - and require - families to make choices about which services best meet their children's needs. This study was commissioned by Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) NSW/ACT to investigate the experiences of families of children aged 0-8 years with developmental delay or disability, and of service providers, in the transition to the NDIS in New South Wales. As a first stage of the study, this report provides an analysis of the findings from the first round of data collection, with 10 family members and 14 service providers, and discusses the implications for the ongoing rollout of the NDIS. This initial data shows that the transition experiences of both families and service providers were widely variable, though families who were vulnerable in any way - be it socially, culturally or financially - were at higher risk of experiencing funding and service gaps, delays, frustration, and distress.

Engaging with disability services : experiences of families from Chinese backgrounds in Sydney.

Liu Y and Fisher K
Australian Social Work v. 70 no. 4 2017: 441-452
This article explores the experiences of Chinese families in using child disability support services. In particular, it investigates how migration and cultural expectations about disability and service affect the way services are used. Interviews were conducted with 13 families in Sydney, New South Wales.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) costs: study report

Australia. Productivity Commission
Canberra : Productivity Commission, 2017.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new scheme designed to change the way that support and care are provided to people with permanent and significant disability, and is currently being rolled-out across Australia. If implemented well, it will substantially improve the wellbeing of people with disability, provide better service options, and create efficiency gains and cost savings. As part of scheme's development, it was decided that the Productivity Commission would review NDIS costs in 2017 to inform the final design of the full scheme prior to its commencement. This report presents the Commission's findings and conclusions. It looks at the sustainability of scheme costs, current and future cost pressures, capacity across jurisdictions, how the NDIS impacts on and interacts with mainstream services, whether efficiencies have been achieved, and funding and governance arrangements. Based on trial and transition data, the study finds that NDIS costs are broadly on track with long term modelling, though this is in large part because not all committed supports are used. While some cost pressures are emerging - such as higher numbers of children entering the scheme - there are initiatives in place to address them. Early evidence also suggests that many NDIS participants are receiving more disability supports than previously, with more choice and control.

Children with disability : inclusive practice and child-safe organisations.

Llewellyn G
12 October 2017
This webinar will focus on developing practical strategies to create safe and inclusive environments for children with disability. Recent research indicates that children with disability are at a much higher risk of maltreatment than their non-disabled peers. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recently reviewed the evidence to consider the various factors that contribute to the heightened risk of abuse for children with disability, including their over-representation in institutional care settings and greater interaction with unfamiliar adults. It also highlighted the problems with viewing disability as a stand-alone risk factor for maltreatment, rather than focusing on the particular social contexts that contribute to children's vulnerability. This webinar will outline current understandings of disability and present recent research findings on the prevalence, risk and prevention of abuse for children with disability. Practical strategies for inclusive practice will be discussed, with a focus on creating child-safe organisations.
Subscribe to