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Family Liaison

Since the release of the Victorian State Disability Plan 2002-2012, there has been a progressive reorientation of disability services to an individualised planning and support approach. This approach includes:

  • planning that is directed by the person to the greatest extent possible
  • individually tailored and flexible supports based on the needs expressed by the person; and
  • a focus on community participation and strengthening informal supports.

As a result of this approach, all funding for Day Services in Victoria is now attached to the individual and people with a disability may use their funding to purchase supports from a wide range of different services.

To assist with the education to people with a disability and their families 'focus' has engaged a Family Liaison Worker to manage a project titled 'MY PLAN MY CHOICE'.

The focus of this project is to provide information and to inform, educate and support people with a disability and their families about individualised funding and the self-direct funding approach; and the opportunity for enhanced outcomes as a result of pursuing the range of options available.

The Family Liaison Worker supports people with a disability and their families to look at innovative ways to use their individualised funding to provide an increased quality of life for all stakeholders.

The project promotes supports and empowers families by providing information and education regarding the Disability Act 2006 and the Quality Framework for Disability Services (Victoria).


It is a well documented fact that people who have an intellectual disability have increased healthcare requirements across a broad range of health indicators. It is also well documented that the primary healthcare needs of this group are not being met to the same degree as in the general population.

'focus' has sought to address this situation by creating a role for a Community Nurse (Intellectual Disability)

The development of the Community Nurse role within 'focus' recognises that a good standard of health is a prerequisite to enabling people with intellectual disability to participate fully as active members of their local community.

Our aim is to provide an evaluation of the role and to conduct further research with a view to developing a sustainable model to be replicated across Victoria and Australia.

'focus' believes that the role of the Community Nurse will make a significant contribution towards improving the quality of healthcare to people with intellectual disability.

Our goal is to provide a consistent, accessible and integrated approach to better meet the health needs of people with a disability.

This is a newly created position with an external community emphasis. The position has been funded to complete a three-year project.

The principal functions of the role are to:

  • provide a community based nursing resource to people who have an intellectual disability and their carers. Through assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation, develop individual healthcare plans for those seeking assistance.

  • promote effective clinical relationships with, and provide specialist health care advice, support and education to GP Practices, hospitals, community services and other external agencies to improve health and reduce health inequalities for the target population and to assist in the development of appropriate clinical 'pathways'.

  • participate in the planning and development of community based health services to ensure equitable access and treatment for people with intellectual disability.

The fundamental aim of the role is to significantly increase the potential for service users to lead healthy lifestyles within a healthy environment.