As your provider of choice, Fairfield City Council Fairstart Early Intervention would like to extend a warm welcome to you and your family. We thank you for trusting us to work in partnership with you to support your child’s intervention. This handbook will provide you with key information for Fairstart clients and help you understand the way we work. We encourage you to read through this booklet before your child starts intervention with Fairstart. At your upcoming Orientation interview, the Fairstart Team Leader is available to answer any questions you may have. You are also welcome to drop in and see our clinic or speak to us at a time convenient to you. We look forward to working in collaboration with you and any other educators and professionals involved in your child's intervention. Your participation is valued.
For Telephone Interpreting Services phone 131 450, ask for your language and ask them to call the Fairstart team member you wish to speak to. The Fairstart team member will give TIS the code needed to support the call.
Family - Centred Practice
Fairstart Early Intervention believe in the importance of family-centred practice and working together with families. This helps children to participate and interact in the environments in which they learn and play. By working together with you and other important people in your child's life, your child will have opportunities to learn throughout their day as well as in their individual sessions.
You have been asked to complete a Client Information and Consent form in your Orientation appointment email. The details you provide are confidential and used to provide quality supports relevant to your needs and to support you in the case of emergency. This is also how we confirm what you agree to or do not agree to in line with providing intervention for you and your child.
Information we collect will only be shared with your permission or as required by order of a court or child protection agency. Fairstart staff are mandatory reporters in relation to child protection and are legally obliged to make a report if they see or are told something that leads them to believe that a child may be at risk of significant harm.
If any of your details change (including phone numbers, addresses and emergency contacts details) please advise a staff member immediately so we can update our Client Management System.
Please provided a copy of your child’s NDIS Plan. As a minimum, we require the goals section and the type of funding your child has been approved for, so that we can deliver services to you under the correct NDIS item numbers and rules and regulations.
Please tell us if your child has any allergies, medical conditions, fears or phobias or unusual behaviours so we can create a Client Risk Assessment with you. We do this so we can deliver supports to your child in a safe environment. We are also happy to receive an Asthma Care Plan(PDF, 80KB) or Anaphylaxis Action Plan(PDF, 304KB) (if applicable), or Allergy(PDF, 242KB) or Asthma Risk minimisation and Communication Plan (if applicable).
Please give us copies of any relevant legal documents that may impact your child’s intervention and well-being (e.g. any relevant parenting or court orders or current AVOs).
We will create a Service Level Agreement with you at your Orientation meeting, detailing the agreed supports Fairstart will provide for you.
Service Level Agreements are made for the purpose of providing supports under a participant’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (for a participant in the National Disability Insurance Scheme).
NDIS Service Level Agreements (SLA) are made between Fairfield City Council - Fairstart Early Intervention (the Provider) and the Participant’s representative, as stated on the participant's NDIS plan.
Fairfield City Council Service Level Agreements are made in the context of the NDIS, which is a Scheme that aims to:
- support the independence and social and economic participation of people with disability, and
- enable people with a disability to exercise choice and control in the pursuit of their goals and the planning and delivery of their supports.
Supports and their prices are set out in the Schedule of Supports in your Service Level Agreement. The prices of the supports may change during the course of the plan, subject to changes to the NDIS Price Guide. One month’s written notice of any such price increases will be provided to the participant / participant’s representative. This is so you can make arrangements and choices about the services you are receiving.
Making changes to Service Level Agreements
If changes to supports or their delivery are required, including ending the agreement, the Parties agree to discuss and review this Service Level Agreement. Changes to Service Level Agreements, will be with two weeks' notice, in writing, and signed and dated by both Parties. Future changes to an SLA can be made in an SLA update. A new service level agreement does not need to be written unless there are extensive changes.
Ending this Service Level Agreement
If a participant wishes to terminate the Service Level Agreement before the end date, notice to end services is required in writing. A minimum of 2 supports per clinician is expected to continue after notice is given.
- Weekly supports will continue for 2 additional sessions.
- Fortnightly supports will continue for 2 additional sessions.
Supports scheduled within the notice period are payable and 'cancellation with notice' does not apply.
If either party seriously breaches this Service Level Agreement the requirement of notice will be waived. Please see the Fees and charges policy
If either party seriously breaches this Service Level Agreement the requirement of notice will be waived.
What is a serious breach?
- Abusing or threatening staff
- Non-payment of fees
- Not being able to provide a safe environment for delivery of supports
- Regular ongoing cancellation with notice or failure to attend appointments after 1 warning
Discontinuation of Supports
Fairstart will cease or discontinue service;
- if the participant does not pay for supports delivered, dishonouring 3 direct debit payments within a 12 month period
- if the participant does not have enough NDIS funding or other funding to pay for supports until +ClientPreferredName+'s next NDIS plan is approved. The participant will have the choice of being placed on the waiting list for support in the future
- if +ClientPreferredName+ ceases to be an NDIS participant and the family do not wish to pay for supports through other means
- if families do not comply with their responsibilities as listed in the paragraph below
- if the client does not attend a support and we are unable to contact the participant for a period of two weeks by phone and email contact
- if we do not have capacity to deliver the service due to staff unavailability
- when +ClientPreferredName+'s function is within the age-appropriate range
- when +ClientPreferredName+ no longer meets the Fairstart intake policy age criterion
Fairstart will discontinue supports two weeks after notice is given in writing, to the participant's representative, for any of the reasons listed above.
Access to supports required by the client will not be withdrawn or denied solely based on risk choice that the client has made.
Responsibilities of the Participant’s representative
The participant/ the participant's representative agrees to:
Responsibilities of Provider
Fairstart Early Intervention staff agree to:
- share information relating to Fairstart's services, our policies and other helpful family support information through:
- this website and
- this Family Handbook
- work in collaboration with you and your child to provide an individual program to cater for the specific needs of your child
- empower parents and others supporting your child, to increase their capacity to deliver activities and strategies to support achievement of your child's goals
- use a range of communication strategies in order to cater to the needs of all clients
- maintain documentation, an Individual Support Plan (ISP) and individual long term and short-term goals. We use this documentation to plan a personalised program for your child
- maintain privacy and confidentiality regarding communication with other agencies and professionals about each child as indicated by each family. This will be indicated by your completion of the Client Consent form. We do this so your families information is not given to others without your consent
- respect and protect the personal privacy and dignity of participants and their families. Fairstart will only share information without consent in the instance of fulfilling our NDIS regulatory obligation to inform notifiable incidents to NDIS Commission
- endeavor to inform and advocate for participants human and legal rights
- give the Participant/ participant's representative information about managing any complaints or disagreements and details of the Cancellation Policy (See "Cancellation" and “Feedback, Complaints and Disputes” section below), so that families know what they can do and what will happen if they are dissatisfied
- listen to your feedback and resolve problems quickly, so any issues can be addressed before they become bigger
- provide supports in a manner consistent with all relevant laws, including the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 and rules, and Australian Consumer Law
- fulfill our responsibilities as mandatory reporters to uphold 'Keep Them Safe' legislation Children and Young Persons Act 1998 This means that Fairstart staff are legally obliged to make a child protection report to the Department of Communities and Justice if they know or suspect your child is at risk of serious harm. Privacy rules do not apply in this situation and anything that you have told or given to us may be used in the report.
- issue regular invoices of the supports delivered to self and plan managed participants, so that Fairstart can be paid
- issue statements of the supports delivered to the participant, on request, so you can keep track of support received
Responsibilities of Both Parties
Both Fairstart Early Intervention and the participant's representative agree to:
- communicate openly and honestly in a timely manner so the best quality program can be developed for your child and you understand what is happening and why
- treat each other with courtesy and respect
- discuss and review this Service Level Agreement should changes to the supports or their delivery be required. Any changes to this Service Level Agreement will be in writing and signed and dated by both Parties. This is so that your child receives the services that they need and that there is evidence or what you have asked for and what Fairstart is able to deliver.
- give the required notice to end the Service Level Agreement (see ‘Making Changes to this Service Level Agreement’ link for more information)
For information about Fairstart, NDIS Code of Conduct, Advocacy support and other useful resources, please visit our Fairstart Early Intervention web page.
Fairstart Early Intervention offers you and your child intervention supports guided by the National Disability Insurance Scheme Practice Standards, NDIS Code of Conduct, Early Childhood Intervention Australia, Speech Pathology Australia and Occupational Therapy Australia.
These regulatory and professional bodies guide us to deliver quality services that are:
- informed by best practice and current research
- underpinned by the importance of nurturing strong relationships with families, children and the community
The early years are fundamental to a child’s emotional, cognitive and social development. Children learn more quickly during their early years than at any time in their life, making these years the most important for their learning and development. By building on a child’s particular strengths and interests Fairstart aims to enhance his or her self-worth, increase motivation to build relationships and develop confidence in taking the next steps in learning.
Research suggests that quality early childhood intervention is effective in supporting a child to achieve developmental and functional outcomes throughout their life. Positive outcomes from early intervention include helping children participate in preschool and school, making friendships and participation in their community. Fairstart is committed to equipping parents with skills and strategies to facilitate their own child's learning and development.
Through collaboration with families and others involved with your child, Fairstart aims to capture the true identity and learning of each individual child through meaningful documentation of their knowledge, their abilities, their growing resilience and their unlimited potential for future success.
The Fundamental components of our program include:
- Development of a Support Plan
- Creation of a Support Plan in line with the child and family's preferences and priorities
- Ongoing development of a dynamic Support Plan that responds to the child’s ongoing changes and advances
- Ongoing review of progress in line with goals to record progress
Our Client support provision policy(PDF, 197KB) details how we recognise the individuality of each child and family and ways we maximise outcomes that are functional and meaningful to clients in their own naturalistic context.
Fairfield City Council is committed to delivering continuity of supports for all of our clients.
If it is not possible for us to deliver your supports in the regular environment due to Emergency or short-term change (e.g. teacher strike, power outage, water leak, Pandemic restrictions, client illness etc.;
- Offer Telehealth supports
- Offer to deliver supports in an alternate location e.g. home
- Reschedule the support (where possible)
We will contact you with as much notice as possible.
The Participant can give feedback directly to staff from Fairstart Early Intervention, either in person, Children and Family Service Feedback e form, phone, email or postal details below.
If the Participant is not happy with the provision of supports and wishes to make a complaint, the Participant can contact Fairstart Early Intervention on 9725 0114 or email email@example.com or use the Children and Family Service Feedback e form
If the Participant is not happy with the handling of the complaint, the Participant can talk to the Manager of Children & Family Services on 9725 0185 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the Participant is not satisfied or does not want to talk to the above, the Participant can contact the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission by:
As an organization, Fairfield City Council is committed to high quality intervention services. Fairstart has policies and procedures that guide and support staff in their work with children and families and the overall management of the service.
All of our policies and procedures are available to staff and families and are reviewed updated on a regular basis. When an existing policy is updated or a new one is developed, it is circulated to staff and families for their feedback. We invite families to identify if they would like to be part of this process on our consent form. Fairstart encourages and welcomes your feedback and values your input into the development and review of any of the policies and procedures.
If you would like copies of any of the policies, please speak to your therapist or call our administration team on 9725 0114.
||What are the key things this policy covers?
Human Right Policy
Easy English - Privacy and Confidentiality Policy(DOCX, 39KB)
- Our responsibility and actions to assist you to understand and uphold your rights
- Why we collect your information and how we protect your information and keep it private
- Conditions for us to share your information with others with your consent
- Training Fairstart workers complete to support you to uphold your rights
Feedback and Complaints Policy
- How to make a complaint
- Complaints handling procedure
Service Access Policy
- How to gain access to Fairstart supports
- How we manage applications for services using waiting lists (existing and new clients)
- How we manage offering a service to a client on a waiting list
Governance and Management Policy
- Quality management systems
- Induction and training of staff
- Management strategies to ensure continuity of service to clients
- Management of performance of staff
- Training of staff
- Involvement of families in service provision
- Flexible approaches in service delivery to families
- Payment for services delivered
- Provision of a safe environment for all
Incident Management and Incident Reporting Policy
- Our legal responsibilities to you and your child if they are involved in an Incident, Injury, Illness or Trauma
- Our reporting obligations under the NDIS Commission legislation in the event your child is involved in a serious incident
Client Support Provision
- Catering for the individual needs of children
- Family friendly, person-centered intervention for clients
- Advocacy for clients
- How we work with our clients
- Tools and strategies we use in our intervention with clients
- Procedures in place to ensure hygiene in our clinics and the equipment we use
Working in the Community Policy
- What procedures are in place for staff conducting supports to clients at home, school or in a community setting
Participation and Inclusion Policy
- How we maximise children's inclusion and participation in their naturalistic environments
Child Protection Policy
- Fairstart staff responsibilities as Mandatory Reporters
- Information about court or parenting orders
- Requirements for payment of fees, outstanding fees and exiting from the service
|Statement of Business Ethics(PDF, 66KB)
- Fairfield City Council's statement of Business Ethics
Signing for services delivered
Each time Fairstart staff deliver a service to your child, we will ask you to sign to acknowledge the completion of services. This will support us to bill or claim on your behalf for services delivered.
When services are delivered to children in their educational setting (e.g. preschool, school, after school care) we will ask your permission for a representative in the educational setting (Teacher or Administrator) to sign to acknowledge the service on your behalf.
Face-to-face services are signed electronically on an iPad.
When services are delivered through telehealth, we will send you a statement to sign electronically.
We will send you an SMS text message reminder at 8am on the business day before the allocated time of your supports/appointments.
Fees are payable for every billable support your child receives. These will be discussed and agreed with you at your Orientation meeting with our team leader and outlined for you in your personalised Service Level Agreement.
Billable services include:
- Clinic sessions
- Preschool / School or home visits
- Support Plan meetings. We believe it is best to have as many of the people supporting your child as possible at this meeting.
- Support Planning (for each therapist involved). Our therapists will develop a support plan for you in line with the goals you have set together, either in a formal meeting or discussions. These goals will relate to the goals in your child's NDIS plan. This support plan can be shared with other professionals supporting your child, according to your consent.
- Creating measurable and achievable Goals. We will also break the goals down into achievable steps to measure your child's progress, recording a baseline of where your child is functioning now.
- Progress Report. It is a requirement that NDIS providers must write a report to be used at the review the child's plan. The report will document progress in line with goals and the supports delivered within the duration of the NDIS plan
Other billable services may be discussed with you and agreed with you before commencement; for example writing a social story. Your therapist or teacher will discuss billable services with you.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
For the purposes of GST legislation, the Parties confirm that:
- a supply of supports under this Service Level Agreement is a supply of one or more of the reasonable and necessary supports specified under sub-section 33(2) of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act) and outlined in the Participant’s NDIS Plan, currently in effect under Section 37 of the NDIS Act;
- the Participant’s NDIS Plan is expected to remain in effect during the period the supports are provided.
Payment of Fees
You are required to keep your account up to date at all times. There are multiple ways you can pay your child’s fees:
- NDIS (Agency) managed.
We will create a Service Booking with NDIA in line with your personal Service Level Agreement. Fees for your supports will be claimed weekly from NDIA directly, after supports have been delivered.
Invoices will be issued fortnightly to families who are:
Self-managed client invoices will be bulk billed:
- Paying fees for service
- Self-managed NDIS participants
- Plan managed NDIS participants (Invoices will be forwarded to the nominated plan manager)
Medicare Invoices can be paid by:
- We will send you a link to Payrix to add your bank account details
- We will send you your invoice a week before the invoice is bulk billed from your account
- EFT payment over the phone
- Credit card payment by phone
Non-payment of fees will lead to a termination of the Service Level Agreement. If you are experiencing difficulty paying for your booked supports, please discuss this with our Team Leader as soon as possible.
If you fail to pay for the supports you have booked and Fairstart has delivered, further action will be taken to collect the outstanding fees. This may involve giving your personal details to others involved in collecting the fees owed.
Every effort will be made to inform the family of their upcoming appointments through the provision of a reminder message on the mobile phone number provided by the family.
Fairstart understands that sometimes attendance is not possible e.g. Family holidays. In this instance it is the families’ responsibility to notify Fairstart if the participant is
- Not able to attend their scheduled session
- Not attending childcare or school when their individual session is scheduled
- Participating in a school or childcare event that will prevent them from attending their session at the usual time (e.g. school photos, Naplan assessment, excursion, Easter Hat parade)
- Hospitalised or unwell
- Going to be away on holidays
- Ceasing participation in the Program
Short notice Cancellation costs
In line with the NDIS price guide, a cancellation fee of 100% of the scheduled fee will be charged if a client does not attend a session or cancels with less than 7 clear days notice. If the Fairstart staff member travels to a scheduled support, prior to receiving the short notice cancellation, travel time will also be charged as per the NDIS guidelines.
Short notice cancellations / failure to attend will be recorded in the Fairstart Early Intervention client management system and charged at the rate applicable in the NDIS Price Guide. Such claims will be made through the usual claim method for the client. This is to pay for the time that staff were employed to provide the service.
When we can, Fairstart will offer to reschedule the support or offer an alternate billable activity in place of the cancellation (e.g. social story, writing a report), Please discuss this with your child’s therapist. If the rescheduled/ alternate billable support is not able to be completed before the next scheduled support, the short notice billable cancellation will be billed.
In the instance that a short notice cancellation cannot be charged to the participant's NDIS plan, an equivalent short notice cancellation fee will be billed to the participant's representative via Fairfield City Council.
In the instance that 3 short notice cancellations occur (without communicating a valid reason to Fairstart), the participant's Service Level Agreement will be reviewed to consider discontinuation of supports. This is so that Fairstart staff can manage staff resources.
Please read our Fees and charges policy for all other Fairstart fees and charges information.
Sometimes Fairstart needs to cancel a session due to staff unavailability. If this happens, please discuss if there are any options for the session to be rescheduled or an alternative support to be provided.
As an NDIS registered provider we are expected to create a Client Risk Assessment for each client to ensure risks are considered and strategies put in place to reduce risks. A Client Risk Assessment will be completed by your therapist in collaboration with you. Please feel free to identify any concerns you have for your child or self in the context of safety during the intervention supports.
Regular Emergency Evacuation drills are held and evaluated regularly.
A Personalised Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) is created for clients who need additional support to evacuate during an Emergency Evacuation. This will ensure that strategies are set in place for additional support, if required, to ensure that all clients are evacuated safely in the event of an emergency.
Evacuation Drill Procedures and Clinic Floor Plans are located at each emergency exit point and throughout our clinics. Fire extinguishers and smoke detectors are also located throughout the clinics and their locations are depicted on the evacuation floor plan. Please read the evacuation procedure and floor plan so you are aware of the process and the steps we take to ensure your child’s safety in the event of an emergency evacuation.
Client safety is of utmost important to us at Fairstart, we want you to receive a safe quality service.
However, if an incident occurs during our service, we will:
- make sure you and everyone involved is safe
- seek any necessary assistance e.g. Ambulance or Police
- record details of the incident
- investigate the cause of the incident
- make changes to prevent a similar incident form occurring
- provide you with ongoing support and keep you up to date with the changes we have made
- contact the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, if this is a reportable incident
If a 'reportable incident' occurs or we observe an incident involving an NDIS participant, it is our responsibility to inform NDIS within 24 hrs.
At Fairstart Early Intervention, we are committed to respecting and protecting your privacy and confidentiality.
We collect personal information that is necessary to provide services. Personal information includes the client and family details, contact details, diagnosis, educational setting and NDIS plan details. We use this information in order to deliver intervention services to you e.g. conduct billing on your behalf through the NDIS portal.
Read our Easy English Privacy and Confidentiality Policy(DOCX, 39KB).
Fairstart will maintain privacy and confidentiality by:
- Storing information in a secure, electronic, database. Only limited Fairfield City Council staff have access to the database.
- Requesting your permission before we share details about your child with another provider. The Client Consent form will be used to document your permission.
- Only sharing information with other providers when necessary
- Using personal information to fulfil the purpose for which it was requested (e.g. to form an agreement; provide services; process claims).
Sharing your personal information
We may disclose your personal information in certain circumstances. We will ask your permission before sharing details with any external individuals or organisations
Fairstart is not obligated to ask your permission to share your details if we are required or authorised by law (e.g. child protection concerns, subpoenaed).
Privacy and Therapy
- Face to face, therapy sessions are not to be recorded without permission from the Fairstart staff member. Recordings of face-to-face therapy sessions are intended for therapy use and the client only. Any authorised video recordings are not to be distributed, copied or shared as this will breech staff privacy
- Telehealth sessions are intended for therapy use and intended for the client only. Telehealth sessions are not to be recorded without written permission from a Fairstart staff member. as this will breech staff privacy
- Shared video links and videos are intended for therapy use and intended for the client only. The video links and video are not to be distributed, copied or shared. Any activities shown in a recording or video must be completed with full adult supervision as without supervision the child might accidently injure themselves.
Fairfield City Council is a Child Safe Organisation. The safety and wellbeing of every child is paramount and we have policies and practices in place to ensure this is maintained.
All of our staff are Mandatory Reporters of child protection issues. This means they are legally bound by the law to make reports to the Department of Communities & Justice of children who are deemed to be at risk of significant harm.
In NSW, mandatory reporting is regulated by the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 (the Care Act).
Medical and health issues
To assist in managing any medical health conditions with your child, we ask that parents:
- Share allergy and health condition information with us during the Orientation process.
- Keep your child at home when suffering from a heavy cold or possible infectious disease or virus. Please contact either the office on 9725 0393 or your therapist on their direct mobile at your earliest convenience.
- Notify the staff immediately if your child is sick or contracts a contagious illness (including Head-Lice)
- Observe the recommended exclusion periods if you have a contagious illness