The National Rural and Remote Support Service (NRRSS) operated between 2013 and 2015. The NRRSS developed and delivered information to allied health early intervention service providers. It also supported the delivery of allied health services in rural and remote Australia and assisted with registration to the Early Intervention Service Provider Panel that was administered by the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS).
Early Intervention Panel Providers deliver support to children with a disability or developmental delay who were eligible to receive funding by the Better Start for Children with a Disability (Better Start) initiative or Helping Children with Autism (HCWA) package.
The NRRSS received $450,000 in funding from the DSS over 2 years to administer the program. Products produced during the course of the program included several podcasts, a number of writen articles and webinars. Support was provided to AHPs in the form of hands on support, news updates about the program, online mentoring, research and professional development opportunities.
One research report that was produced during the program, titled: Mapping Rural and Remote Early Childhood Intervention Therapy Services researched the barriers faced by Children with a disability or developmental delay growing up in rural and remote Australia, specifically in relation to accessing early childhood intervention (ECI) services that are directly related to their geographical location. This research paper illustrated that these barriers led to a significantly reduced uptake of services by rural children compared to children living in metropolitan areas. Read the full report by clicking here.
At the conclusion of the program the NRRSS had approximately 584 members and contributed to an 70.88% increase in Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) registered as a member of the Better Start and HCWA early intervention panels administered by DSS that operated in regions ASGC-RA3 to ASGC-RA5.