Post School Programs

Post School Programs

Each year since 2002, Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) in the NSW Department of Human Services has commissioned the Centre to work on the allocation of school leavers with disabilities to the post-school programs that they provide. The work supports the Department’s program planning and the allocation of places within different components of the post-school programs, in particular the Community Participation Program. Recommended allocations are based on assessment of the functional abilities of young people with disabilities. CHSD’s involvement in the process has developed into a continuous refinement of the tools and allocation of resources within the program on a State-wide basis.

The increasing acceptability of the approach in the sector and with the end users has been particularly satisfying for the Centre. Our work helps to match young people leaving school to the program that best matches their level of ability. It also provides a model for developing client classification and costing methods for use in disability services. This work has attracted interest from other States, mainly Victoria, where the Functional Assessment Tool (FAT) Pilot was conducted in 2009. The interest in the model is because it uses a consumer and not service-based focus and the results are derived from the cost of services actually provided to each client, not just based on the program’s historical funding allocation.

Underlying this work is the relationship between the functional independence of the young person and the level of support he or she requires. This relationship is explored in the journal article linked below:

Eagar K, Green J, Gordon R, Owen A, Masso M and Williams K (2006) Functional Assessment to Predict Capacity for Work in a Population of School Leavers with Disabilities. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education. 53 (3): 331-349.

View the 2015 manual:

Eagar K, Green J and Owen A (2015) The NSW Post School Programs Eligibility Assessment: a guide to functional assessments in 2015. Australian Health Services Research Institute, University of Wollongong.


Finalist in Premier’s Awards

This collaborative research project involving members of AHSRI’s Centre for Applied Statistics in Health (CASiH) was a finalist at the 2016 Premier’s Awards, presented on 25 October 2016. The project also involved staff from the NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS), NSW Department of Education and Catholic Education.

The collaborative post school programs assessment process is widely recognised as best practice and has now been trialled by the NDIA in Tasmania, Victoria and the ACT. This success combined with the excellent outcomes achieved through the NSW Transition to Work program has resulted in a new School Leaver Employment Support program under the NDIS.

Project staff were recognised for their work with helping people with disability transition to work.

AHSRI has been involved in the project since 2002, having developed the functional independence tool that is used by teachers to assess school leaver applicants, processing scores to provide a recommendation for program and funding level (where applicable) for each applicant and providing teacher training to ensure consistency in how the applicants are assessed.


Project team: Janette Green, Megan Blanchard

Last reviewed: 3 August, 2018

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