Here at Leap in! we work with thousands of Australians with disabilities in every state and territory.
Our Members have been asking about the relationship between community and government family support services and the NDIS. Today, we’re taking a look at the difference between the services and how they might be of benefit to you.
What are community and government family support services?
Community and government family support services are designed to enhance the wellbeing of all people and families in Australia.
Federal, state and local governments all play a role in providing services and support. Some services are managed by one level of government and some are managed jointly by different levels of government.
You may know them better by the names of individual organisations like the state health departments, Medicare, the Department of Social Services, Home and Community Care and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
All eligible Australians can access these services, including people with disability, their families and carers. In most cases services like health, mental health and education are government funded – and there is no cost to use them.
Some useful resources at a national level include:
Local organisations like religious groups and social clubs may also offer informal supports to the community.
What do community and government family services fund?
The community and government family services look after things like:
- Social and community housing
- Responding to safety and child protection issues
- Information and awareness regarding child safety and wellness
- Counselling, parenting skills programs and family relationship services
- Out-of-home care for children, teenagers and adults, including housing, care allowances, payments and other standard supports
- Family and parental payments such as the Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Rebates.
What family support services does the NDIS fund?
The NDIS provides support that is specific to a person’s disability or a child’s developmental delay. Eligibility for support is assessed on a case by case basis and must be considered reasonable and necessary. Generally the NDIS covers:
- Early Childhood intervention supports for children younger than seven with a disability or developmental delay
- Assistance or supervision of personal tasks during day-to-day life
- Disability related support at work or in the community such as personal care supports
- Respite care
- Home modifications, equipment and assistive technology
- Capacity building supports to help people with disability learn new skills and become more indepdendent
- Disability related allied health services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and podiatry.
How do the NDIS and community and government family services system work together?
The NDIS and other government services complement each other so people with disabilities and their families receive the support they need. There are clear guidelines as to what the NDIS and other government services are responsible for.
At a community level, an NDIS local area coordinator can help people with disabilities get in touch with the relevant community and government family services. These are separate from the NDIS and the NDIS does not provide services or supports that are available through mainstream services, community based activities and other government programs.
Get in touch with Leap in!
If you’d like to know more, call us on 1300 05 78 78 to ask any questions or sign up to Leap in! plan management today.
Originally published 8 February 2019, updated 18 October 2022.