What is Aspect Adolescent Support?
Aspect Adolescent Support provides combined service coordination and positive behaviour support to adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and high support needs, and to their families.
The service is funded by Ageing, Disability and Homecare (ADHC), NSW Department of Family and Community Services, to work within the Metro North Region of Sydney. It aims to build the capacity of the teams supporting young people to consistently implement evidence-based strategies with a view to stable home and school placements, participation in a range of ordinary community activities and improved quality of life.
Referrals are accepted from families, schools or other services and are processed through a quarterly panel, run by ADHC’s Metro North Information, Referral and Intake System.
Who can access the service?
Aspect Adolescent Support provides services to young people aged 12 to 18 years, with a formal diagnosis of autism and an intellectual disability who live in Sydney’s Metro North region.
Service is prioritised for young people at risk of family breakdown or significant difficulties in maintaining full school attendance. Limited special considerations will be made for referrals regarding young people in the last years of primary school or those without an intellectual disability.
Aspect Adolescent Support is funded to support a minimum of 15 adolescents per year.
Where does the service operate?
You and your adolescent must reside in ADHC’s Metro North region, which includes all local government areas in the regions of Cumberland/Prospect, Nepean and Northern Sydney.
What does the service provide?
Aspect Adolescent Support provides a service that:
- Is coordinated across all of the settings in a person’s life, including home, school, community and other environments
- Is comprehensive, taking into account of the whole context of a young person and their family
- Facilitates and maintains access to a range of community services and supports
- Aims to develop individual and family quality of life
- Promotes a person centred approach and collaborates in a family centred way
- Builds the capacity of a team to support a person in the long term
The service has two key components that work together: (a) a coordination role that helps families access and maintain access to a broad range of community supports and services and (b) an autism specific positive behaviour support role.
How does it work?
Once a referral has been accepted, each family will be allocated one service coordinator and one behaviour support consultant from Aspect Adolescent Support. These staff work together to meet the aims of the program. They will:
Meet families at their homes to better understand family strengths, supports, priorities and goals leading to a family service plan
Set up a series of ‘team meetings’ with all those who support the young person to maintain good communication, collaboration and coordination
Complete a service agreement that outlines the roles of the family, Aspect Adolescent Support, and other services
Offer training on ASD and positive behaviour support
Help the team to complete an individual assessment of the young person, looking at their strengths, interests and positive characteristics as well as specific disability needs and behaviours of concern
Help the team to complete a comprehensive individual autism support plan
Support the team to implement key strategies across settings
Complete a transfer to other services when specific exit criteria have been met
Is there a cost for the service?
No. There is no cost to families for the service. Aspect Adolescent Support has been fully funded by ADHC.
For further information, please contact Aspect Adolescent Support on (02) 8977 8390
Guidelines and legislation
Aspect Adolescent Support works within the guidelines and legislation relating to child care and protection. Please see the information below (Promoting Safety – Responsibilities to Children and Parents) outlining our responsibilities:
Promoting Safety: Our Responsibilities to Children and Parents
Keeping children safe is a big concern for parents. At Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect), we take the safety of children, young people and other family members seriously. We are committed to working with other agencies, including the Department of Community Services (DoCS), to keep children safe. We want to make sure parents know what steps will be taken to fulfill our agency’s legal responsibilities regarding the safety of children and others in the family. We know that families want services to keep personal information private. We will not share your personal information outside this agency without your agreement, except where the law tells us to, or where we have an ethical responsibility in relation to client safety. These times when we can’t guarantee client confidentiality are explained below.
Reporting to DoCS
The law states that staff involved in services to children must advise DoCS if we have concerns that a child or young person may be at risk of harm. At Aspect all staff are required to accept thisresponsibility. The law states that the government can fine some people if they fail to carry out this role.
Giving Information to DoCS or the Court
The law states that Aspect has to provide information if DoCS workers ask us about your child’s safety, welfare or well-being. If we do this, we will tell you as soon as possible, unless this could place a child in an unsafe situation. We keep a written record of any requests from DoCS, and of our response to them. Where DoCS refer families, we will talk about how and when to provide feedback to DoCS about your progress, right at the beginning of our work. If we are asked to write a report for the Children’s Court about you, we will discuss that report with you before sending it to the court and we will give you a copy with any confidential details about other people removed. We will do our best to write the report so that it is clear and easy to understand. Courts can use a subpoena to see our files, e.g. in Family Law Court or criminal matters. We need to let you know that we must provide the court with our files if this happens.
Promoting Everyone’s Safety
We believe that safety is important for everyone in the family. We may need to take action if we think that anyone in the family is going to hurt themselves, is going to hurt someone else, or is at risk of being hurt. We also have to make sure our staff members are safe at work.
All staff members working with children at Aspect are subject to a “Working with Children Check” and other screening processes prior to employment, in order to rule out anyone with a criminal record.
It’s the Law
The main law discussed in this sheet is the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act, 1998 (Sections 23, 27 and 248). You can find it on www.austlii.edu.au. Look at the alphabetical index for the New South Wales Consolidated Acts. The Act can also be found on the DoCS website: www.community.nsw.gov.au
This information was developed by the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies and has been modified by Aspect to support the work of the Behaviour Intervention Service.