New support service for people transferring to non-government providers – Transfer Connect

Transfer Connect is a new support service for people with disability, their families or guardians, whose specialist disability accommodation services are transferring from government to non-government providers.

The service is available for people who currently live in FACS operated group homes in NSW and provides an avenue for them to raise questions or concerns about their own situation in the transfer process.

Transfer Connect enables people to access information either by calling a toll free number or meeting face-to-face with a Transfer Connect representative.

The service is provided by Mission Australia on behalf of FACS.

More information on when and how to contact Transfer Connect by reading the Transfer Connect Brochure

Building the readiness of the non-government sector for the NDIS – NSW Audit Office report released

On 23 February 2017 the NSW Audit Office report- ‘Building the readiness of the non-government sector for the NDIS’ was published.

The report found that FACS had effectively expanded the overall capacity of the non-government disability sector in preparation for the NDIS. The report’s findings are a testament to the sustained, collaborative effort and investment in NSW in the disability sector over the past 10 years.

FACS is committed to implementing all four recommendations of the report. The report outlined the following recommendations:

  • Work with the Australian Government, NDIA and other NSW Government agencies to identify gaps and develop the capacity of specialist clinical services, focusing on regional and rural areas.
  • Continue to implement projects to increase the number of organisations that can support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
  • Target remaining capability building assistance to less prepared providers, including via one-to-one support and mentoring in identified areas of weakness.
  • Continue working with the Australian Government and the NDIA to ensure lessons from sector capability programs are shared.

FACS’ formal response to the report and more information on how the recommendations will be addressed, can be found at

FACS will continue to work in partnership with the Commonwealth and the NDIA throughout the remainder of the NDIS transition period.

NSW Government to Deliver 78 New Group Home in the Hunter Region

Seventy eight new group homes will be built in the Hunter region at locations chosen by people with disability and their families to replace large residential centres.

Today Minister for Disability Services Ray Williams announced the purpose-built accommodation will be constructed by Home4Life.

“More than 390 people currently living in Kanangra, Stockton and Tomaree residential centres will benefit from the new group homes which will allow residents to be more engaged in the community,” Mr Williams said.

“I am confident Home4Life will deliver high quality homes that meet the needs of hundreds of people with disability and their families.”

Home4Life are a new disability housing organisation and joint venture between two not-for-profit housing providers; Newcastle based Compass Housing, and BlueCHP.

Compass Housing Group Managing Director Greg Budworth congratulated the NSW Government for adopting the more supportive housing model.

“We believe people have a right to live in a community, rather than an institution, and to participate fully in that community,” he said.

BlueCHP Chief Executive Officer Charles Northcote said Home4Life was committed to making sure tenants and their families were included in the design process.

“Our philosophy is to only develop or invest in projects we would be happy to live in ourselves so all dwellings built by Home4Life will be designed by expert architects Kennedy and Associates and will be in accordance with the standards for disability housing set by the NSW Government and the NDIS.”

Click to access the full Media Release

Milestone for NDIS as disability clinical services transfer to Australia’s oldest charity

Today the NSW Government announced the Benevolent Society will be the new operator of its specialist disability community support teams. These services are being transferred to the non-government sector to support the roll out of the NDIS.

Community support teams are made up of more than 800 highly skilled and dedicated professionals who provide clinical services such as therapy, case management and behaviour supports.

Minister for Disability Services Ray Williams said the Benevolent Society has been chosen after an extensive and competitive selection process.

“The Benevolent Society is an exceptionally strong service provider with a great track record as Australia’s first charity. For more than 200 years they have supported Australians to live their best life,” he said.

“They have an impressive plan to grow and expand the business, and a proven record in delivering supports to children, young people and adults with disability. Their safety and continuity of service throughout the transfer remains the priority.”

Other key factors in the decision were the Benevolent Society’s strong existing footprint in NSW, and ability to integrate clinical services into its business.

Benevolent Society CEO Jo Toohey said the organisation was well positioned to integrate clinical services, with the appropriate business systems, quality and risk management frameworks and resources to enable a successful transition.

“We aim to transform the specialist disability clinical services into a leading centre of excellence that is known for its research, practice development, clinical expertise and sector development to achieve better outcomes for people with disability.”

“Our strong focus on culture and people will ensure clients and staff are well supported,’’ Ms Toohey said.

The Benevolent Society is Australia’s oldest charity. It is a not-for-profit organisation focused on helping people, families and communities achieve positive change.

Download Media Release for Milestone for NDIS here

Signing the documents to become the new provider of disability clinical services in NSW are (from left) Benevolent Society CEO Jo Toohey, Board member Rob Warren, Chairman Lisa Chung, Ageing, Disability and Home Care Deputy Secretary Jim Longley and Minister for Disability Services Ray Williams.

NDIS: Straight Up!

An exciting project, designed specifically around increasing National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) readiness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the Far West/Murrumbidgee District, has come to fruition in the form of ‘NDIS: Straight Up!’

NDIS: Straight Up! events are a series of intimate community-based gatherings across the district for Aboriginal people with disability, their family and carers as well as for mainstream and disability specific services providing support to this group.

The events give people the opportunity to meet and learn about the NDIS together and discuss what needs to happen to best prepare participants and the community for the NDIS.

For more information contact

NDIS National Quality and Safeguarding Framework Released

The Council of Australian Councils (COAG) Disability Reform Council has today released the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguarding Framework (the Framework).

The Framework sets out the key functions of the national quality and safeguards system to be implemented for the full scheme NDIS, including roles and responsibilities.  All Governments are committed to working together to implement the Framework in consultation with people with disability and other stakeholders.

The transition to a full scheme NDIS in NSW will be completed by July 2018. NSW Transitional Quality and Safeguards Working Arrangements will continue to apply during the transition period.

Click here to view the Disability Reform Council Statement

Click here to view the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework 

State-wide NDIS events now available

If you are interested in keeping up to date with events about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) that are taking place in metropolitan and regional communities across the state, then you should take time to visit our events page.

Our quick and easy to use events calendar, can help you find events that might be happening nearby or online, including community consultation workshops and information sessions.

You can join seminars that will give you insight into how to prepare for the NDIS, how to fill in the relevant paperwork and how to start to develop and then implement your plan.

February is a bumper month with some great information sessions and seminars taking place across the state. You can access our events page here:

Don’t forget to tell us if you are holding an event, meeting or information session in NSW about the NDIS. It is quick and easy, just email the details to and we will put it up on the calendar.

Auslan NDIS resources now available

Auslan NDIS resources now available

The National Disability Insurance Agency has developed a range of Auslan videos to help build awareness of the NDIS in the Australian Deaf Community.

The videos explain what the NDIS is, how people can access it and introduces some key concepts regarding how the NDIS works.

The videos were developed with the involvement of native Deaf Auslan users to help ensure the resources are accurate and reflect the diversity of language in Auslan across Australia.

To view the resources and visit the Auslan page of the NDIS website click here


Getting in touch about the National Disability Insurance Scheme over the Holiday Season

Getting in touch about the National Disability Insurance Scheme over the Holiday Season

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the federal agency that is responsible for implementing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). For enquiries about eligibility or how to access the NDIS, or to follow up on an existing plan you need to content the NDIA.

There will be changes to the NDIA’s operating hours over the Christmas Holiday period.

Many services will not be available on the public holidays and there will be reduced services at other times.

NDIA Contact Centre: 1800 800 110

Available from 8.00 am to 11.00 pm local time on:

  • Friday 23 December
  • Wednesday 28 December
  • Thursday 29 December
  • Friday 30 December

Please note: the Contact Centre will not be available on public holidays.
If you require urgent assistance outside of these times please call: Lifeline: 13 11 14

Emailing the NDIA

Submissions through the Contact Form on the NDIS website received after 12.30 pm Friday 23 December 2016 will be processed from Tuesday 3 January 2016. The contact form is located here
If you require urgent assistance please call the NDIS Contact Centre: 1800 800 110.
Please note: the Contact Centre will not be available on public holidays.

Visiting the NDIA Customer Service Centers

Christmas Eve

Most sites will close at 12.30 pm on Friday 23 December 2016 (Christmas Eve) and re-open on Tuesday 3 January 2017. Some larger regional offices will be open over the Christmas & New Year period on non-public holidays.

If you need to visit a site after 12.30 pm on Christmas Eve and you do not have an appointment, please check the NDIA website located here to see when your local office is open.

Please contact the NDIA on 1800 800 110 if you have any questions or concerns.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) NSW Providers have been announced

Early in 2016 the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) announced it would implement a nationally consistent approach to supporting children with disability aged birth to 6 years, under the NDIS. It is called the NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention approach (ECEI).

The NDIA worked hand in hand with early childhood practitioners and researchers to design the approach, with key design aspects being informed by the NSW Strengthening supports for children and families 0-8 years: Now and into the future.

The aim of ECEI is inclusion, with children supported in a range of mainstream early childhood settings such as preschool and playgroup, meaning increased opportunities to learn and develop positive social relationships.

The NDIA’s approach to providing ECEI supports under the full scheme NDIS will be in place from July 2018 when the NSW transition is complete.

A list of Year 1 ECEI transitional are now available from the National Disability Insurance Agency website

To find out more about ECEI, click here: