The Access Assistants Program supports students with a disability and who have complex health support needs, so that they can participate in a school curriculum in a government or non-government preschool or school.
The program is available to children who satisfy the criteria for enrolment in special education programs or services provided by the government of the state in which the child resides.
Children whose only impairment are specific learning difficulties or for whom remedial education or remedial support is appropriate are not eligible.
How the Access Assistants Program works
The program employs Access Assistant Health Support Officers who are credentialed workers who provide direct health care for students. The Access Assistant Health Support Officers are not nurses; they provide only care that they have been specifically trained to undertake for a specific student in a specific setting.
Health Support Officers mostly provide direct complex and invasive health care that cannot be provided by school and preschool staff, for example:
- care of tracheostomy
- gastrostomy meals
- catheterisation at regular times of the day
- oxygen therapy
- complex seizure management
- complex asthma management
- complex personal care needs
A Team Leader will discuss each child's individual needs when they meet with the parents/guardians and the child's school or preschool staff to plan the care.
If a student has a Health Care Plan, the Access Assistant Health Support Officers only provide care according to the specifics contained within it when they have had the required training to undertake them.
A Health Care Plan is then developed by a Registered Nurse, who works closely with parents or guardians and health professionals (for example the local general practitioner and physiotherapist) who are providing health care for a child. Once produced, this plan is reviewed on a regular basis to take into account any changes which may benefit the child.
In some situations the child may only require a plan that is developed by the school and parent, this is known as the School Support Plan – SSP. The Access Assistant Health Support Officer will then undertake tasks on the basis of the child's SSP when they have received the required training.
Access Assistant Program Brochure (PDF - 370Kb)
Business hours: Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm
General enquiries: (08) 8159 9400
Country callers: 1300 766 664
Facsimile: (08) 8159 9450
Postal address: Box 2068 Post Office
Hilton, SA 5033
All Child and Family Health Services are free and statewide. They are provided by qualified nurses, medical staff, social workers, physiotherapists and Indigenous Cultural Consultants.
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