As of 1 January 2013, the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs expanded the eligibility criteria for the Better Start for Children with Disability initiative to include nine new disabilities*.
This means that children under the age of 7 with a confirmed diagnosis of Prader-Willi, Williams, Angelman, Kabuki Make-Up, Smith-Magenis, CHARGE, Cornelia de Lange, Cri du Chat syndromes and microcephaly, will also be eligible for up to $12,000 in early intervention funding (up to a maximum of $6,000 per financial year).
These new criteria are in addition to the originally listed disabilities of Cerebral Palsy, Deafblindness, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, hearing impairment and sight impairment.
As the organisation that delivers the Registration and Information Service (RIS) for Better Start, the Carers Australia Network has assisted parents and carers to register for early childhood intervention support
Carers Australia held a Registration Information Service Workshop in late February with invited expert speakers who told of their experiences as parents and carers of children with some of the disabilities now eligible for early intervention funding.
The workshop provided all members of the National registration and Information Service team the opportunity to better understand the needs of those who care for children with these disabilities, to best ensure their needs are met.
Supporting families and carers from diverse cultural and linguistic (CALD) backgrounds
RIS Advisors are receiving CALD community awareness training specifically tailored to support families and carers of children with disabilities; and to complement this training, relevant Better Start promotional and registration material is being translated into 11 CALD community languages.
This is part of Carers Australia’s commitment to provide information and services that are responsive to carers from a wide range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
*Eligibility thresholds apply