What kind of help can you get?

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A quick guide to some of the services out there for children and families.

Funding to pay for services

You can get funding to pay for many of the types of services listed below and elsewhere in Rock Solid, depending on your child’s age and special needs. To find out about what funding you can get, ask the service, your doctor, a support person, or one of the services listed on the page Next steps: where to go to find help.

There can be a lot of paperwork involved with getting this funding. You can get help to deal with the paperwork from a support person or a case manager (see below).


Therapy is when a specialist works with your child, to help them with things like communication, movement, learning or behaviour. Many therapists also give you ideas about how to work on these things with your child at home. Therapy includes work done by speech therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists. See our page on key terms for people who can help, to find out more about how they work.

Young children can get therapy from an early childhood intervention service. Older children and young people can get therapy from a disability service. Many families get funding for therapy, while others might pay for it themselves.

Equipment, respite care, carers allowance and other help

You can get equipment to help your child in their everyday life, like a wheelchair, hearing aid or communication device. Some services offer respite care, which can give parents and carers a break. A few services have accessible after-school care or holiday programs, including some programs just for Aboriginal children.

You might be able to get a Centrelink carer’s allowance – ring the Centrelink Indigenous Hotline. If your child has a lot of medical needs, register for the PIP program with their doctor, to get their treatment and medicines for free.

Advocacy and case management

It can be hard work organising all the support your child needs. A case manager can help you organise support and funding to help your child. Many disability services offer case managers, especially if your child has a lot of different needs.

If things go wrong, you can get help from an advocacy service. ACD is an advocacy service, and there are many others, including regional disability advocacy services, and services for children with different special needs. Advocacy services can give you information, and can also help if you are not happy with a service.

Help at school

Your child can get different kinds of help at school, whether they are in a mainstream school or a special school. Look at the section of Rock Solid on ‘What school should do to help your child’ to find out more.

Koorie education workers

There are Koorie Education Support Officers (KESOs) based in regional education department offices, and there are also Koorie educators in some schools.

KESOs can help you to deal with the school on a range of issues, and get you help with things like school costs. They can also give your child help and tutoring at school, although they might not always have a lot of knowledge about special needs. A Koorie education worker can come with you to meetings with the school. You can also take a friend, family member or support person from outside school.

  • You can find out more about the role of KESOs on the VAEAI website.

Find out more