Navigating the Funding Maze – Family Assistance Fund – NSW
Welcome to the eighth installment of ‘Navigating the Funding Maze‘. Today I hope to give alittle more insight into the Family Assistance Fund (NSW). I hope that this will be useful information.
This is one that I have not yet used myself but I do hope to use it in the very near future. I remember when we first started talking to our case worker from ADHC about them getting us an appointment with an OT and getting a trampoline or something similar but nothing came of it.
I am going to try and find out if there is anything similar for the other states … if you know anything please either put a comment or send me a email.
What is the Family Assistance Fund (NSW)?
The Family Assistance Fund was established to help families with ongoing care for their child with a disability.
The Family Assistance Fund provides small amounts of one-off funding (up to $2,000) for families to purchase services and equipment to help them care for their child with a disability at home and increase family well-being.
Funding can be used to make practical changes at home, provide support for individual family members that is otherwise unavailable, and purchase non-recurrent assistive equipment. The funding helps families to address specific needs and stresses before they become a crisis and to make a difference in the care of the child or young person with a disability.
Who is eligible?
Eligible families are those who are caring for a child or young person with a disability under 18 years of age and who are receiving case management from Family and Community Services – Aging Disability and Homecare (otherwise known as ADHC and previsouly known as DADHC) or an ADHC-funded service provider.
Priority will be given to:
- families on low to moderate incomes (in 2006 $62,647 or less per annum);
- families where the child or young person has multiple or complex medical and behavioural needs and/or where parents have health or other issues that impact on their parenting role or capacity to manage behaviours, routines and stresses;
- families where the care of the child or young person with a disability is having a
- significant impact on the well-being of their siblings;
- families with little or no access to extended family support or local support within
- their communities;
- families living in geographically isolated areas; and
- families who have not received Family Assistance Funding previously.
Being eligible does not automatically mean that you will receive funding. The number of families able to be helped is dependent on funding availability and level of need.
What can be funded?
Examples of how Family Assistance funding can be used include:
- purchase of assistive equipment to help families care;
- resources to promote play activities and interaction between children/young people in the family and/or their parents;
- recreation activities for both the child with a disability and other children in the family (e.g. a total family outing, assistance to attend holiday activities);
- new resources to support the child or young person through transition stages and to help families manage care changes;
- services to increase parenting skills, communication and improve family routines in the longer term;
- training to improve caring skills;
- counselling or other forms of personal support for family members, including siblings;
- equipment/support to assist the child or family’s community involvement and the development of personal support/peer networks;
- modifications to the house and garden to provide a safe, secure environment, or a car modification for transportation; and
- household equipment such as a washing machine or clothes dryer to assist with laundry for children with incontinence or a heater to prevent medical problems for a child with complex health care need
What is excluded?
Funding is provided strictly on a one-off or time-limited basis. The Family Assistance Fund
will not provide funding to:
- purchase any item or support that has ongoing, long term or recurrent costs;
- duplicate existing services or funding;
- fund shortfalls in existing services;
- act as bridging funding while awaiting longer-term care options;
- where the support service(s) or aids requested are available through other NSW or Australian Government programs;
- provide clinical assessment or therapy services;
- provide out-of-home placements and respite; nor
- purchase basic items such as food and clothing
How can you apply for funding?
Families need to fill in and sign an Application Form. The Form includes a budget section where details of at least one written quote for the equipment or services to be funded needs to be added. Your case manager (or other DADHC worker) will provide advice and assistance in filling in the form and you will need to make sure they complete the checklist at the back of the form.
A regional panel will consider applications regularly and make recommendations to the Regional Director or a delegated officer. The panel will include a DADHC officer, a government or non-government service and a person with a disability and/or a family member who is not seeking funding.
If approved, applicants will receive:
- notification of approval;
- a cheque for the amount of funding allocated; and
- information about how to account for spent funds.
To find out more about the Family Assistance Fund ask your case manager or contact
your DADHC Regional/Area Office:
- Metro North Region – (02) 8855 4200
- Metro South Region – (02) 9334 3700
- Western Region – 1300 134 450
- Northern Region – 1300 364 563
- Hunter Region – (02) 4908 5229
- Southern Region – Illawarra (02) 4254 0319 or Southern Highlands (02) 6200 730
What have your experience been of the Family Assistance Fund? Do you have any lessons/scars?
Image: Child jumping on trampoline – Emily by Suburban Paparazzi, on Flickr – Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)