NDIS providers: what you can expect from services and support
Your child’s NDIS providers should give your child and your family supports and services that are:
- good quality
The NDIS has a Code of Conduct with rules about how NDIS providers should treat NDIS participants like your child. These rules ensure that NDIS providers offer good-quality, respectful and safe services and supports.
Good-quality NDIS services and supports
To ensure that your child gets good-quality services and supports, NDIS providers should:
- supply only services that they’re qualified and trained to supply – for example, your child’s speech therapist should just focus on your child’s speech and not offer support in areas they’re not qualified in
- act on any concerns about quality and safety – for example, your child’s NDIS provider might reduce background noise or music if it’s too stimulating for your child
- be honest, clear and realistic with you – for example, your child’s NDIS provider should explain how a therapy will help your child reach their NDIS goals
- be transparent about their services – for example, your child’s NDIS provider should tell you about their fees and any additional costs you can expect, like fees for writing reports.
Respectful NDIS services and supports
To ensure that your child gets respectful services and supports, NDIS providers should:
- involve your child in decisions when possible – for example, a younger child might be able to choose the colour of their eating aid, and an older child might be able to choose between therapists
- give you, your child and your child’s other carers information that you can understand – for example, NDIS providers might organise an interpreter to explain a therapy in your family’s language
- respect your child’s background, beliefs, gender and sexuality – for example, your child’s therapist should offer to remove their shoes before entering your home if that’s polite in your culture
- keep information about your child and family private – for example, NDIS providers must store information in accordance with privacy laws and only share it with other providers when you say they can
- respect your child’s privacy by keeping conversations focused on your child’s therapeutic goals – for example, if your child has two mums, your child’s therapist shouldn’t ask questions about how your child was conceived.
Being respectful is about making sure that providers use language and offer information that relates to the experiences of all families, including rainbow families, single-parent families, blended families and so on. For example, posters and handouts could include images of families with two mums and two dads, or families from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Safe NDIS services and supports
To ensure that your child gets safe services and supports, NDIS providers should:
- provide a physically safe space – for example, your child should be able to move around with their walker without bumping into things
- provide a verbally safe space – for example, people should speak to you and your child in kind and gentle ways
- provide an emotionally safe space – for example, you should feel comfortable to share information about your cultural background, any trauma you or your child have experienced, or your experiences parenting a gender-diverse child or being part of a rainbow family.
Safety is also about protecting your child from harm, including physical violence, verbal aggression, sexual abuse, insults, humiliation and neglect. The law says that NDIS providers must take all reasonable steps to prevent these forms of harm from affecting your child.
Ensuring quality, respect and safety: NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission
All NDIS providers are regulated by an Australian Government agency called the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. The NDIS Commission makes sure NDIS providers and their workers follow the rules and requirements that are outlined in the NDIS Code of Conduct.
To do this, the NDIS Commission:
- makes sure NDIS providers know and follow rules about quality, respect and safety
- assists with and responds to complaints, concerns and serious incidents related to NDIS providers and their workers
- keeps a list of registered NDIS providers, who have to do extra things to ensure the quality and safety of their services and supports.
The NDIS Commission can take action against registered or unregistered NDIS providers or workers who aren’t treating people the way that the NDIS Code of Conduct says they should. For example, the NDIS Commission can ban providers from working with NDIS participants.
The NDIS Commission can also take action against registered NDIS providers who aren’t following the NDIS Practice Standards.
If you or your child are unhappy with the way an NDIS provider is treating you or the quality of their services, it’s always OK to speak up. It’s best to raise your concern with the NDIS provider first. You can also make a complaint to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.