Exploring NDIS Support Services for Children: A Comprehensive Guide
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Exploring NDIS Support Services for Children: A Comprehensive Guide

As a parent, you will always want what is best for your child. However, caring for children with complex needs can bring forth a range of challenges relating to both their health and well-being.

Fortunately, many systems are in place to support children and families in these scenarios. For example, you may find that your child is eligible for NDIS support services.

NDIS Support Services: A Breakdown.

What is the NDIS?

The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is a government-backed system that allocates funding to eligible people with disabilities to “gain more time with family and friends, greater independence, access to new skills, jobs, or volunteering in their community, and an improved quality of life.”

NDIS support has been available across Australia since 2016, and according to the latest statistics, more than 610,000 Australians are currently receiving support through the scheme.

Many of those who gain access to NDIS support services are children living with complex needs. In fact, a recent study found that more than 8% of young schoolchildren are now on NDIS.

What are NDIS Support Services? 

As NDIS support services are designed to enrich the lives of their participants, they cover a lot of ground – from health and well-being and daily living assistance to employment and education support. In short, they exist to break down the barriers that many of those with disabilities will face on a day-to-day basis.

The services offered can vary from provider to provider, but could include:

  • Access to community education and personal development programs.
  • Personal care support (Showering, toileting, getting dressed).
  • Transportation to and from medical appointments.
  • Medication management support.
  • Support in finding and maintaining a job/internship.
  • Access to social and therapeutic activities.
  • Respite care.

How do you qualify for NDIS Support Services?

To qualify for NDIS Support Services, an individual must:

  • Be aged between 9 and 65 living in Australia.
  • Be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or Protected Special Category Visa holder.
  • Be living with a disability caused by a permanent impairment.
  • Need disability-specific sport or assistance to complete daily life activities.

Children under the age of nine (and their families) can still receive support, though this is often offered through the early childhood approach or other government-funded schemes.

Who is not eligible for NDIS Support Services and Funding? 

NDIS Support services and funding are currently only available to people who “have a disability caused by a permanent impairment.” This means that both adults and children with temporary disabilities are unlikely to be found eligible for this type of long-term funding.

Similarly, those aged over 65 are not eligible for NDIS support services, though there are other systems in place to support older adults.

NDIS Support Services For Children.

What kinds of disabilities are eligible for NDIS Support Services for Children?

NDIS Support Services are designed to support children (and adults) with a range of cognitive, intellectual, sensory, neurological and physical disabilities – though you can find out more about specific eligibility here.

Some of the eligible conditions include:

What kind of support services are in place for Children? 

As mentioned above, a growing number of NDIS Support Service recipients are children. NDIS support services for children are designed to offer comprehensive support to children with disabilities and developmental delays and their families. This helps to create the kind of environment where children can thrive and are empowered to reach their full potential.

Once funding has been allocated, parents can choose from a range of local NDIS providers. These providers will often be able to provide children with access to support services in the comfort of their own homes.

What is included?

Again, the exact services provided can vary from NDIS provider to provider or the area in which you live. However, NDIS support services for children tend to cover the following bases:

Healthcare Support.

NDIS providers will provide healthcare support directly tailored to your child’s needs based on any pre-existing diagnosis they may have. This could include:

  • Wound care
  • Seizure Management
  • Medication Management and Administration
  • Gastrostomy and Tracheostomy Care
  • Nasogastric tubes/TPT (transpyloric feeding) Tubes
  • Respiratory therapy (CPAP/BiPAP therapy, etc.)

Those offering NDIS Pediatric Nursing services will also work closely with parents, children, and families to develop a customised nursing care plan. This will ensure that the child receives the support they need when they need it and that any relevant challenges are addressed through the services and support offered. They will also be able to provide parents with guidance when it comes to understanding and managing their children’s complex conditions or disabilities.

Day-to-day support. 

Day-to-day support services are designed to make daily life easier for both the children and those caring for them. For example, providers can assist with tasks such as washing/bathing, toileting and getting dressed each day. Alternatively, they can provide them with physical assistance for daily activities.

Life Skill Development.

NDIS providers can also help children with disabilities or developmental delays develop a range of functional daily living and life skills. This will allow them to develop their independence and confidence so that they are better prepared to handle any challenges that may come their way.

There are many ways in which your child’s carer may work to achieve this goal. For example, they may focus on teaching them:

  • How to handle money
  • How to prepare their own food/snacks
  • How to confidently use public transport
  • How to complete their chores (laundry/cleaning their room, etc.)
  • How to stay on top of their routine

Mental Health Support.

According to a study from the Mental Health Foundation,children with learning disabilities are four and a half times more likely to have a mental health problem than children without a learning disability.” As a result, mental health support is often incorporated into an NDIS care plan. For example, children with specific conditions may benefit from meeting with a therapist or through therapeutic services such as speech therapy, which help them find new (and often clearer) ways to express themselves.

Behavioural Support.

Sometimes, children dealing with developmental delays or disabilities will showcase behaviours that those around them find troubling. For example, when overwhelmed or frustrated, they may be prone to violent outbursts. Sometimes, their actions could put themselves or others in harm’s way, which is why finding effective ways to deal with them is so crucial.

Many NDIS services are designed to provide children (and their families) with behavioural support that focuses on addressing the root of this behaviour and putting preventive measures in place to avoid similar scenarios cropping up again in the future. They will also work closely with children to help them find effective coping strategies so that they develop healthier responses to stress.

Socialisation Opportunities.

Socialisation plays a key role in a child’s development. After all, it can help them to develop a wide range of skills or to form long-lasting friendships. Despite this, a recent study found that “over 90% of disabled children are socially isolated.”

NDIS Support Services can help to combat isolation and loneliness by providing participants with access to opportunities where they can socialise with their peers. This could include:

  • Days out (Visiting the local park, going to the movies or out for dinner)
  • Encouraging them to pursue their hobbies, especially group activities
  • Finding ways to engage with the local community, such as by watching local sports games or attending local events

Respite Care.

Caring for a child with complex needs full-time can be overwhelming, which is why many NDIS providers also offer respite (temporary accommodation) services. This gives parents or caregivers a break from providing 24/7 care to their children while still ensuring that they receive the care and attention they need. Some offer in-home respite services, meaning that children can remain in the environment they find the most comforting.

Respite care, or overnight care, could also allow children to spend time in new, stimulating environments, to practise independent living, or to participate in activities they may otherwise not receive access to. As a result, it is beneficial for both children and their carers.

Palliative Care.

NDIS providers are also able to provide palliative care support to children who are dealing with life-limiting conditions. These services are built around pain and symptom management, alongside emotional support for the children and their families during a difficult time.

Palliative care services allow children and their families to focus on spending quality time together and are available 24/7 when necessary. As palliative care can be provided at home, this once again ensures that children can remain in an environment where they feel safe, comfortable, loved, and, most importantly, surrounded by their family.

Access to Mobility Equipment.

NDIS Service Providers can also provide children with access to mobility equipment. This could include:

  • Mobility Scooters
  • Wheelchairs
  • Lift Chairs
  • Power Chairs
  • Walkers and Rotators

This funding could also allow parents and carers to adjust their homes and vehicles to accommodate their children’s mobility needs.

How Much NDIS Support Services Funding Do Children Recieve?

As NDIS Support funding is allocated on a case-by-case basis, the amount of financial support you receive can vary depending on a variety of circumstances.

For example, NDIS is a needs-based funding program. This often means that children or individuals with more complex needs will receive a higher level of support in order to accommodate for the extra costs associated with this kind of care and support.

In most cases, the funding you receive will be able to cover the costs of the services you require, though some out-of-pocket expenses may be incurred depending on the care you access and the provider you choose.

What are the Benefits of NDIS Support Services For Children? 

There are many benefits associated with making use of NDIS Support Services at any age. However, they may be especially beneficial during childhood and adolescence.

Some of the benefits of NDIS Support Services for children include:

Improved Quality of Life. 

NDIS Support services can help to address specific complaints or struggles, which in turn, can improve a child’s quality of life. For example, access to the proper mobility tools and equipment could mean that they are able to explore new opportunities and hobbies, as opposed to staying in their current routines/environments.

Beyond this, families are also better equipped to support and care for children with disabilities, with “81% of families and carers agree the NDIS has helped them better care for their family member with disability.”

Improved Independence.

By helping children develop a wider range of life skills and elevating their confidence, NDIS services can encourage them to become gradually more independent.

For example, a recent NDIS study found that “participants school age to 14 reported improvements in independence, as well as being able to spend time away from parents/carers other than at school.” This can open many doors for them in the future, whether they’re trying to find a job or considering living independently.

Improved Mental Health. 

Young people with a disability are “more likely to experience a higher level of psychological distress” than both older adults with disability and their non-disabled peers. As access to the relevant support services is often linked to improved mental health and mood, this can be a great way to help support those with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and even PTSD. As a result of this, it’s no surprise that “75% of families and carers feel more confident about the future of their family member with disability under the NDIS.

Improved Access To Education. 

NDIS Support Services are also influential in supporting children entering the school environment so that they can make the most of their studies. This can help them to find suitable employment further down the line, with a study finding that since the NDIS system was launched, “participation in work has more than doubled from 10% to 22% for participants aged 15 to 24.”

By finding ways to break down educational barriers, children and young people with disabilities are shown that they can do anything they put their minds to. As a result, they’re more likely to grow up with the confidence levels they need to succeed and feel as though they are empowered to reach their goals.

Improved Social Life. 

According to a recent report from the NDIS, “41% of participants reported increased participation in community and social activities” under an NDIS support plan. Given that socialising with others plays such a key role in our development during adolescence, this is perhaps one of the biggest benefits of NDIS support services.

Reduced Familiar Pressure. 

While parents of disabled children will always go above and beyond for their children, they must also ensure that they take good care of their own mental and physical health (alongside any other children and dependents they may have). NDIS support services, such as educational support and respite care, can help to facilitate this.

For example, a recent study found that 55% of parents of a child with a disability deal with stress of a “clinically significant level.” Without finding ways to properly care for their own mental health, they’re likely to encounter burnout, which could interfere with the level of care they’re able to offer to others. Simply put, finding ways to reduce familiar pressure is key in securing the optimal outcome for all involved parties.

Siblings of children with disabilities are often their biggest advocates and will do whatever it takes to stand up for their brother or sister. However, this does not always mean they properly understand what their sibling is going through or how they can offer support. Family services can help both younger and older siblings develop an age-appropriate understanding of their siblings, providing them with greater peace of mind.

Is There a Waiting List for NDIS Support Services for Children?

According to the NDIS website, approval for access to NDIS support services typically takes:

  • Less than 90 days for children under the age of 7
  • Less than 56 days for children aged 7 and older.

Once you have received your approval, you begin to research different providers in your local area. In some cases, there may be a waitlist in place, whereas with others, you will be able to begin developing your care plan right away. The amount of time spent on the waitlist can vary, depending upon demand or the kind of services you require access to.

Your provider will usually be able to provide you with an accurate wait time when you first reach out and will also provide you with periodic updates during this time.

In some cases, you may benefit from reaching out to numerous providers in order to ensure you receive access to care and support services as soon as possible.

What are the alternatives to NDIS Support Services for Children? 

There are many different support systems in place to support children living with disabilities or developmental delays, both from the government and charitable organisations – outside of the NDIS scheme itself. As a result, this is always worth looking into, especially if your child is dealing with a condition that does not directly qualify for NDIS funding. Your healthcare provider may be able to provide you with these contact details, though a quick Google search should also point you in the right direction.

Schools are also required to provide additional support to children with disabilities in order to create the optimal learning environment. Speaking to their teacher ahead of time can ensure these accommodations are in place.

However, with a track record of success for young people up and down the country, it is worth noting that there are many proven benefits associated with NDIS Services.

Home Caring: Services For Children. 

At Home Caring, we have years of experience supporting children with disabilities and developmental delays and their families, creating an environment where every child can thrive.

As a registered NDIS provider, our home care plans are individually tailored to each child under our care. In abandoning the more traditional “one-size-fits-all approach,” we’re able to offer care plans that are highly customised, providing your child with the exact kind of support they need, regardless of which disabilities or challenges they face in their day-to-day lives.

In addition to giving children the best start in life and ensuring all of their needs are addressed, our services are designed to support their carers and families. This can ensure that everyone is acting in the child’s best interests and can prevent carer burnout, too.

One of the biggest benefits tied to our paediatric services is that they can be delivered within your own home. This is not only incredibly convenient but can also make things much easier for your child, who likely feels more comfortable at home than anywhere else.

You’ll also work with the same carers each day so that you can establish a sense of familiarity with those caring for your child. This, again, serves to benefit the child too, as they are being looked after by individuals with an understanding of their unique needs and requirements. Therefore, in addition to maintaining a friendly rapport with your child, they are able to adjust their care plan when necessary to ensure that all of your child’s needs are met and addressed. Finally, this puts your child at ease, improving their happiness and quality of life accordingly.

If you’d like to find out more about the services we offer, please do not hesitate to get in touch today. We’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have about our home care services or the support that is available to your family.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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