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COVID-19 latest information

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COVID-19 latest information

Updated 4/11/20

We’ve put together the following information to help you and your family get the support you need during COVID-19.

On this page:

Speaking up for children and families

ACD is speaking up for the needs of children with disability and their families during COVID-19.

We are continuing to speak up for:

  • Focused catch-up support for students with disability
  • Mental health investment to meet the needs of young people with disability
  • More respite care
  • Expand JobMaker Hiring Credit Scheme to young people on the Disability Support Pension

For the latest updates, follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Support for children with disability and families

Care and respite

These options are permitted in specific circumstances in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria and will continue as restrictions ease:

1. In-home care from a relative or friend

A relative or friend can come to your home to help care for your child with disability which is necessary for your child’s disability support needs. This is different to child minding, which is available for permitted workers.

Home visits for caregiving do not count towards your one household visit each day. If a friend or relative is visiting your home to help care for your child, you can still visit another home or have another family come to visit on the same day.

2. Respite care by a relative or friend

Children with disability can go to a relative or friend for respite care, including staying overnight. This needs to be a pre-existing arrangement which is necessary for your child’s disability support needs. This does not count towards your one household visit per day.

3. Taking your child for a drive to help support complex behaviour

You can leave home and take your child for a drive to escape harm, including harm to themselves. It’s important to use common sense and remember that this should only be done to escape harm and to help support complex behaviour. If you do take your child for a drive, do not stop anywhere unless essential.

Care and compassionate grounds

The options of in-home care, respite and going for a drive to support complex behaviour are all permitted under care and compassionate grounds – providing care and support to a person because of disability. 

Under care and compassionate grounds you can travel more than 25km, including between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. You do not need a permit. You do not have to carry evidence of your child’s disability, but you may feel more confident if you have a letter from a GP, therapist or a copy of your child’s NDIS Plan.

For more information

Support for families with children with disability – Plain English (Word)

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School

All students are now back at school for on-site learning. If your child is unwell they must not attend school. If they have symptoms of COVID-19 they should get tested.

If your child is medically vulnerable, speak to your doctor about their safe return to school. Support for learning from home will continue to be provided for students who cannot return due to their medical vulnerability.

For more information

Students should have modified learning tasks and personalised support if they are at home or at school.

How we can help you

Our Support Line is also able to help you to advocate for your child. To speak with our Support Line email acdsupport@acd.org.au with the best day and time we can call you back.

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NDIS

During COVID-19, the NDIA has made changes to how NDIS Plans can be used. Think about what services would best support your child and family. This might include:

  • Having Support Workers come to your home
  • Using telehealth for therapy appointments
  • Purchasing a device or fitness equipment for your child

For all the options read our fact sheets on:

Support Workers

Support Workers who provide support that ensures health, safety and wellbeing are an essential service. Support Workers will need to carry a worker permit. This will be provided by your service provider or online matching service.

Support Workers can:

  • Provide support in your home
  • Assist with exercise (no more than one hour, within 25km of your home)
  • Support your child’s disability-related needs while they are learning from home
  • Travel more than 25km to work

When you have Support Workers in your home:

  • Wash and sanitise hands regularly
  • Wipe down high-touch points
  • Stay 1.5m apart where possible
  • Let each other know if you are feeling unwell, have had close contact with a COVID case or if you test positive for COVID-19

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

When Support Workers or relatives assist with care in your home, everyone except children under 12 should wear a face covering.

This is the PPE advice for Disability Support Workers.

NDIS providers in Victoria who deliver essential daily living supports can directly claim the costs of PPE from the NDIA. Providers can claim $1.70 per hour of support delivered in the Activities of Daily Life Support Category to cover the cost of PPE.

You may also be able to buy masks and PPE using the Core budget in your child’s NDIS Plan.

How to change your child’s Plan

Speak with your Support Co-ordinator, Local Area Co-ordinator or Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Co-ordinator.

If your local contact is not aware of what changes can be made, contact the NDIS on 1800 800 110 and select Option 5 for the special COVID-19 Planners. The NDIS Contact Centre is open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday.

Our Support Line is also able to help you advocate for your child. To speak with our Support Line, email acdsupport@acd.org.au with the best day and time we can call you back.

For more information

The NDIA has released a COVID-19 information pack for Victorian families and carers of school aged NDIS participants.

NDIS Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and support

You can also find NDIS information and resources on the Every Australian Counts website.

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Protecting your child and family

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Taking care of yourself

If you start to feel overwhelmed, talking about it early can help. Support is available over the phone and online:

Parentline 13 22 89
LifeLine 13 11 14
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Kids Help Line 1800 55 1800
1800Respect 1800 737 732
safe steps Family Violence Response Centre 1800 015 188

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Easy English and stories to share

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Read more of our information and resources.