FaHCSIA Funding – Helping Children With Autism package

The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) has announced $190 million to go towards early intervention funding as part of the federal government’s Helping Children With Autism package. One of the initiatives from FaHCSIA is funding of up to $12,000 for children aged 0-6 years. Funding will be given to agencies that fulfil a number of criteria, including evidence-based practices and a multi-disciplinary approach to the treatment of autism. Visit the Department of FaHCSIA website.


Sensational Kids OT is pleased to be a provider of the Department of FaHCSIA Early Intervention Service Provider Panel. This means Sensational Kids OT is eligible to receive funding for clients 0-6 years of age, of up to $12,000 per child, for services provided over a two year period.


To be eligible to receive this funding, your child must have a formal diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and must be aged between 0-6 years.

Please contact us if you would like more information.


Who is eligible for this funding?

If your child has been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is aged 0-6 years and has not yet started full time compulsory school you may be eligible to access a funding package of up to $12,000.


What can the funds be used for?

FaHCSIA has established a panel of early intervention service providers of which Sensational Kids OT is one. Families can spend the funding package at any number of these services. Your Autism Advisor will provide you with further information on the panel.

    • Families can spend up to $6,000 per financial year, up to a total of $12,000
    • Families can choose to spread the funding over the course of a financial year or may choose to use it within a short period of time whilst the child remains eligible.
    • Families can choose to use the funding to pay for whole sessions or can choose to pay for only a portion of a service and use their own money to pay for the rest of the service.


What can’t the funds be used for?

    • FaHCSIA funding cannot be used to subsidise the gap in Medicare funded services or any services that are fully funded by government.
    • FaHCSIA will not pay for cancelled or missed appointments. This will be the responsibility of the family.

FaHCSIA’s role in the funding package

FaHCSIA will reimburse Sensational Kids OT and other services you access in arrears on behalf of families for services delivered.

FaHCSIA will send out a monthly activity statement to families with information on where they have spent their funds and funding balances.


Sensational Kids OT’s role in the funding package

Sensational Kids OT is a member of the Early Intervention Service Provider Panel. Once you have been deemed eligible for the funding by FaHCSIA by your Autism Advisor, you can receive services from us and we will be directly reimbursed by the government.

Sensational Kids OT’s role is to provide you with the therapy service. Assistance with obtaining and using the funding should be directed to your allocated Autism Advisor.

It is important to note that Sensational Kids OT accepts this FaHCSIA arrears payment as a service to our clients, in order to receive payment from FaHCSIA we are required to complete additional paperwork and systems as well as submit quarterly reviews.


What happens when my child is no longer eligible?

Your child will become ineligible once they start full time compulsory school, turns 7 years of age or has used the $12,000 funding package.

Whilst they are no longer eligible to access the early intervention component of the Helping Children with Autism package, they may be eligible for other components.

From 1 July 2008, the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) introduced new Medicare items. These new items are for: consultant physicians (paediatricians and psychiatrists) to diagnose and develop a treatment plan for children aged under 13 years on referral from a GP; psychologists, speech pathologists and occupational therapists to provide up to four services in total per child to collaborate with the psychiatrist or paediatrician on the assessment where required; and psychologists, speech pathologists and occupational therapists to provide early intervention treatment following diagnosis (providing up to 20 services in total per child).

In addition the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) is delivering two initiatives:

    • professional development for teachers and other school staff to support school students with ASD to achieve better educational outcomes; and
    • funding for parents and carers of school students with an ASD to attend workshops and information sessions and to access online workshops and information.


What if we live in a regional or remote area where access to services is difficult and expensive?

Families living in regional or remote areas may also be able to access an additional $2000 in recognition of the challenges they face in accessing services. This will provide these families with options for accessing early intervention services, such as accommodation and travel to and from support, as well as training, respite and resources such as books and computers to access online information.

Eligibility for this payment will be based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia + (ARIA+) classification. Your Autism Advisor will be able to advise you whether or not you are eligible for this payment.

Rural families may wish to take up a treatment intensive model with Sensational Kids OT to allow them to access specialised therapy despite their location. Please contact us for more information.

Where can I get further information on the package?

If you would like more information about the Helping Children with Autism package, fact sheets are available from the FaHCSIA website at www.fahcisa.gov.au/autism , the DoHA website at http://www.health.gov.au/autismand the DEEWR website at www.deewr.gov.au/autism.

You can also call the Helping Children with Autism Inquiry Line on 1800 289 177 or email mailto:asd@fahcsia.gov.au(general enquiries).

Although the above contacts will provide you with the best information about the government funding, should you have any further questions or would like information about our service and how it relates to the package please contact us.


Where does Sensational Kids OT fit into the funding?

The following diagram outlines the pathway families will use to access early intervention services on the panel. Sensational Kids OT is under the section of “Service Provider on the Panel” in the right most column.