Government must continue funding for Better Start for Children with a Disability initiative

Government must continue funding for Better Start for Children with a Disability initiative

Posted July 17, 2013

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Carers Australia welcomes the recent announcement by Amanda Rishworth, the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, of a funding injection of $900,000 to the Better Start for Children with Disability initiative.

These funds will be used to deliver up to 300 workshops across Australia to parents and carers of children with a disability under the age of seven. These workshops will be delivered by Carers Australia and First Step Alliance over two years and will provide participants with information about the supports available to them under Better Start as well as other services which they may be eligible for. 

Carers Australia appreciates the opportunity to deliver these workshops under the Better Start initiative. They will provide an important opportunity for parents and carers not only to receive information but to also build their own support networks with other parents, carers and service providers in their area.

“Better Start has already provided assistance to nearly 7000 children across Australia with a number of diagnosed developmental delay conditions which can be managed and improved through a range of therapeutic interventions”, said Karen Cook, President of Carers Australia.

“Without such interventions, many of these children would face a far more difficult transition to school and later social inclusion in their peer group – disadvantages which can have a major influence over their future life chances”, said Ms Cook.

“As DisabilityCare Australia (DCA) is rolled out across the country such early interventions will be provided under the scheme.

“However, DisabilityCare Australia will not be fully rolled out until 2018-19. In the meantime it is essential that Better Start and similar programs such as: Helping Children with Autism, should be maintained to support children who are not resident in DCA sites. 

“All Australian children with developmental disabilities who can benefit from early intervention should have the opportunity to access such services – regardless of where they live.”

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