COVID-19 latest information
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COVID-19 latest information
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
- Support for children with disability and families
- Protecting your child and family
- Taking care of yourself
- Easy English and stories to share
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
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
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.
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
In metropolitan Melbourne:
- Prep to Grade 6, Year 7, VCE/VCAL and students at special schools have now returned to on-site learning
- Students with disability in Years 8 to 10 can attend school and be supervised to do learning tasks set by their teacher
- From 26 October all students in Years 8 to 10 will return to school
If you have a child who is medically vulnerable, such as a chronic medical condition, you will need to speak with your medical practitioner 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.
- Read more in our fact sheet Student Support Group meetings and reasonable adjustments during COVID-19
- Department of Education and Training (DET) Coronavirus advice for parents, carers and guardians
- DET Parent Helpline 1800 338 663
How we can help you
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:
- NDIS Supports for your child during COVID-19
- Finding the right Support Workers for your child and family
- Activities your Support Worker can do during COVID-19
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.
For more information
The NDIA has released a COVID-19 information pack for Victorian families and carers of school aged NDIS participants.
You can also find NDIS information and resources on the Every Australian Counts website.
Protecting your child and family
- Check the current restriction levels in Victoria
- COVID-19 testing is free and available across Victoria – if you or your child have any symptoms, get tested
- In-home testing is now available for people with disability who cannot get to a testing site. Call the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 and select option 9 to see if you are eligible for this service. If you need a translator, call the hotline and press zero when prompted
- The Royal Children’s Hospital has COVID-19 health information in English and community languages
- All Victorians aged 12 and over must wear a face covering when they leave home but there are some exceptions for people with disability
Taking care of yourself
If you start to feel overwhelmed, talking about it early can help. Support is available over the phone and online:
Easy English and stories to share
- I am going back to school story (PDF)
- I am going back to school story (DOCX)
- Having my temperature checked at school story
- Wearing a mask story
- Getting a COVID-19 Easy Read
Read more of our information and resources.