HELPING CHILDREN WITH AUTISM (HCWA) EARLY INTERVENTION (EI) FUNDING INFORMATION FOR FAMILIES
Once deemed eligible by the Autism Advisor, what can my child access?
- Up to $12,000 in total early intervention funding (dependant on your child’s birthday);
- Up to $6,000 maximum per financial year;
- A panel of FaHCSIA approved early intervention service providers through which to access the funding.
What can the funding be used for?
- Eligible early intervention therapies listed on FaHCSIA’s website under the service providers in your state;
- Eligible resources that your FaHCSIA panel provider has determined:
- Are integral to your child’s therapy;
- Support your child’s Individual Service Plan;
- Do not exceed a maximum of $2,100 per financial year and $4,200 in total.
Early Intervention funding under the Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) package is aimed at providing increased access to early intervention for children who have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by a qualified psychologist and/or paediatrician. The funding supports the delivery of multidisciplinary evidence based early intervention to facilitate improved cognitive, emotional and social development until the child’s 7th birthday.
Autism Advisors provide families and carers with information about early intervention programs and support available through the HCWA program. Autism Advisors are located in the Autism Association in each state or territory and contact details can be found on the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) website at http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/autism.
Children must have a Letter of Introduction from an Autism Advisor to be eligible to receive funding for Early Intervention funding under the HCWA package.
If your family lives in an outer regional or remote or very remote area as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia as ARIA+, you may be eligible for a $2,000 Outer Regional, Remote and Access Support Payment. The Autism Advisors in each state and territory will be able to advise you if you are eligible for this payment.
What can Early Intervention funding be used for?
- FaHCSIA has established a panel of early intervention service providers. Families can choose the service that best suits their child. Your Autism Advisor can provide you with further information about available service providers. A list of Panel providers in your state or territory can be found at: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/autism
- The funding will support the provision of structured and intensive early intervention services, such as one-on-one intensive activities and tailored group and individual programs that can be delivered in a range of settings.
- Families can choose to use the funding to pay for whole sessions or can choose to use the funding for a portion of a service and use their own money to pay for the rest of the service. This option provides flexibility to accessed subsidised intervention therapy over multiple years.
- A Questions and Answers document has been developed to assist parents with further information regarding purchasing resources with Early Intervention funding. It is available on the FaHCSIA website at: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/disability/progserv/people/HelpingChildrenWithAutism/Pages/Q_A_earlyintervention.aspx
Other components of the HCWA Strategy
There are other components of the HCWA Strategy that may benefit your family:
- Early Days Workshops – information for parents carers of pre-school and school aged children with ASD. More information on Early Days can be accessed at: www.earlydays.net.au or phone 1800 289 177
- PlayConnect Playgroups – 150 playgroups specifically for families and children with ASD or ASD like symptoms. More information on the PlayConnect Playgroups can be accessed at www.playgroupaustralia.com.au
- ASD website – specific information on effective therapies and location information available through www.raisingchildren.net.au/autism
- Medicare items – for diagnosis and early intervention treatment for children aged under 13 years
- Positive Partnerships – professional development for teachers and school staff who work with students with ASD. More information can be accessed www.autismtraining.com.au
- Six Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres have been established, across Australia. They provide early learning programs and specific support for children with ASDs in a long day care setting. Further information is available at http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/disability/progserv/people/HelpingChildrenWithAutism/Pages/autism_specific_ccc.aspx
Where can I get further information on the package?
More information about the Helping Children with Autism package is available from the FaHCSIA website at www.fahcsia.gov.au/autism the Department of Health and Ageing website at www.health.gov.au/autism, and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations website at http://www.deewr.gov.au/schooling/programs/pages/helpingchildrenwithautism.aspx.
Melissa is a registered FaHCSIA service provider.