Family support - what the NDIS will fund

Families can play an important part in the lives of participants – both as a critical relationship and as a source of care and support. Some participants and families may need assistance to sustain these relationships. Participants may need additional supports if their family and caring arrangements change.

Participants and their families will discuss their goals with the NDIA as part of their planning conversation. The participant's plan will include the supports the Scheme will fund and any other supports participants and their families may require from the community services system.

Supports funded by the Scheme

The Scheme funds supports that families need as a result of a family member’s disability, as well as supports that enable sustainable caring by family members. This includes:

  • family support and counselling due to a family member’s disability
  • building the skills and capacity of other family members to manage the impact of a participant’s disability on family life
  • supports that increase the participant’s independence, as well as supports that enable the participant to enjoy social and community activities independent of their informal carers
  • supports aimed at increasing the sustainability of family caring arrangement, including personal care and domestic assistance related to the person’s disability
  • where a child’s caring or living arrangement changes due to a child protection order, the Scheme can continue to fund the child’s disability related supports such as aids and equipment, therapies, transport or community access.

Supports funded by the community services system

The community services system continues to have responsibility for broad, population wide programs and statutory services. This includes:

  • family support and counselling, parenting skills programs and family relationships services
  • all aspects of the statutory child protection system, including assessing and responding to suspected child abuse and neglect
  • arranging out of home care for children subject to child protection orders, including making these arrangements sustainable for children with disability
  • guardianship arrangements for people under the age of 18 years.

How will a child with disability be supported if they move into out of home care?

State governments retain responsibility for protecting the wellbeing of children.

This will include arranging out of home care for a child where this is required. State governments also need to ensure this care arrangement is appropriate and sustainable, including training of carers, payments to foster carers, supervised contact and so on.

The Scheme will continue to support the child’s disability related needs, such as aids and equipment, supports to access the community and transport.

Generally, entering out of home care would be a significant change in a child’s circumstances and as a result a child’s individual plan would be reviewed. This discussion would include any changes to a child’s nominees, as well as considering whether the child’s support needs have changed as a result of their change in caring arrangements.

What happens if the community services system doesn’t fund the supports I need?

If the community services system is responsible for a support, the Scheme cannot fund that support, even if community services system does not provide it. However, the Scheme may still able to provide assistance to participants, for example, a Local Area Coordinator can assist the participant to make contact and discuss their needs with appropriate providers.

Roll out information

The NDIS is not available everywhere yet, see the Our Sites page to find out which areas currently have access.

Our Sites

Fact Sheets and Publications

Check the fact sheets about arrangements in each state and territory.

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