Advocacy, Disability

New ways to welcome children to the NDIS

Written byChristine Tondorf
Published on17 Aug, 2022
Stock Photo

Children with a disability who need supports can join the National Insurance Disability Scheme (NDIS) on turning seven, and Social Futures, which delivers the NDIS to much of regional New South Wales, has come up with new ways to make the move as easy as possible.

It has appointed a new Early Childhood Transition Manager, who welcomes families and shows them how the NDIS can support their child to grow and flourish. Natalie Tynan is in the role.

“When it comes to children, early intervention and provision of services, such as speech and occupational therapy can reduce the ongoing impact of the disability throughout the person’s life,” Natalie said.

“The NDIS is there to ensure the child gets what they need so that the child can grow, reach their potential and do amazing things.”

Social Futures is an NDIS Partner in the Community – a community-based organisation that works with the National Disability Insurance Agency to coordinate the scheme in the local area. For most NDIS participants in this region, Social Futures is their main point of contact for the NDIS.

“Social Futures works with people to identify the NDIS supports they need to achieve goals in many areas of their life,” Natalie said.

“This includes individual growth and happiness, and also being able to fully participate in their community, for example playing a sport, finding a meaningful job, or joining a local organisation.”

Ms Tynan said children under seven are first delivered services and supports through an NDIS Early Childhood Partner, then, if needed, transition to the NDIS, delivered by Social Futures in much of regional NSW.

“Some families have been with an early-childhood service provider since their child was born, so moving to the NDIS can feel like a big step and we are here to support them during this time,” she said.

“I want to re-assure families that we will be working closely with them, to make the transition process as smooth and informed as possible.

“We have a warm conversation with the family to welcome them, check-in to see how it is all going and answer any questions.

“If the family requests, we can have an in-person or online meeting to support them in their understanding of the NDIS.”

Natalie said one of the strengths of the NDIS is that it offers choice and control over how and when families receive NDIS supports, because every family is different.

“Social Futures and the family produce a written agreement – a plan – for the child. Every plan is different because every child is different,” she said.

“Our team asks questions because we want to understand your families’ needs and aspirations and provide the support to meet those.”

Natalie is also planning on introducing webinar information sessions soon to provide a forum for parents to have their questions answered and learn more about the NDIS.

“A great outcome would be for families to make some connections with other families in those webinars,” she said. “That social connection is wonderful for families.”

Natalie has spent 17 years working with children with disabilities.

“My work is rewarding because children excel at exceeding people’s expectations,” she said.

“I have seen the positive difference the NDIS makes to the lives of children and their families, and I am grateful to be able to be a part of the journey with them in this role at Social Futures.

“I really enjoy listening to families talking about their children, often the more they talk, the more they realise just how far they have come.”

For any further information on Social Futures’ Early Childhood Transition contact: Natalie Tynan, Social Futures EC Transitions on 1800 522 679 or email [email protected]