Early Childhood Early Intervention

Key Worker Model

What is a Key Worker?

According to Best Practice principles of ECIA (Early Childhood Intervention Australia), the best approach to support early child development is via the Key Worker model.

The Key Worker model brings together a childs’ therapeutic intervention into, one primary therapist.

It is when an early childhood intervention professional becomes a family’s primary therapeutic contact for their child and the worker practices from a strengths-based, family-centred perspective that enables the family to have choice and control in their lives.

A key worker also works within a transdisciplinary team and undertakes planning that takes into consideration child and family strengths and needs when developing goals with the child and their family.

Your AYS Key Worker will address 5 key areas of support:

  • Provide information and advice to navigate services and access resources
  • Offer opportunities to identify and help your needs in parenting
  • Advocate for your child and family
  • Coordinate your child’s services
  • Offer emotional support

This model is the recommended best-practice approach by the NDIS for children with developmental delays or disabilities.

Who are AYS Key Workers?

AYS Key Workers are early childhood intervention specialists with disciplines in any of the following areas: Occupational Therapist, Social Work, Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy, Special Education, or Specialist Positive Behaviour Support. AYS encourages transdisciplinary practice, where a team of professionals from different disciplines work closely together and share information, ideas, techniques and strategies to offer individualised services to children and their families.

Your AYS Key Worker can also work with people who are involved in supporting your child in other areas, including childcare, preschool, school, community activities, and is likely to have networks in the community which may benefit your child’s development.

Why would I choose to have a Key Worker?

Numerous research studies have suggested that parents prefer a single point of contact to coordinate early intervention services and a trusted person to support them to get what they need for their child’s development.

When your child has a delay or disability this can affect many parts of their development.

A Key Worker can:

  • Be a single contact to support you in all areas of your child’s development
  • Suggest tailored programs
  • Develop plans and prioritise what is most important for your child to reach their goals

Why choose an AYS Key Worker?

An AYS Key Worker can also support you with:

  • Meeting with an NDIS planner
  • Guidance to make informed decisions about your child’s development
  • Updating services to suit your child through different developmental stages
  • Assistance in developing goals with you for your child which focus on your priorities
  • Support to embed goals for learning in your everyday activities and routines
  • Support to access local community services and activities
  • Mentoring parents to implement therapy into daily routines
  • Access to training that supports the needs of your family
  • Support to coordinate all of the services who currently support your child and family *
  • Answers to any questions or concerns that may raise

* If your family is dealing with complex issues, sometimes a Support Coordinator can be a helpful additional resource.

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