HCWA and Better Start

HCWA and Better Start

Swan Hill District Health is offering allied health therapy for children who are eligible for funding through ‘Helping Children with Autism’ (HWCA) and ‘Better Start’ packages.

If your child is eligible for funding through HCWA or Better Start, SHDH offers access to therapy sessions across the following allied health disciplines:

  • Speech Pathology
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy 

These therapy sessions are funded through your child’s HCWA or Better Start Funding Package. Allied Health therapy sessions are offered in addition to any specialist early intervention or case management services your child may already be receiving. SHDH allied health clinicians will work closely with your child’s case manager or key worker to ensure that your child receives coordinated, goal-directed therapy.

Examples of therapy may include:

  • Speech pathology: targeted speech or language interventions, implementing visual aids in preschools/classroom.
  • Occupational therapy: developing fine motor skills and sensory processing interventions.
  • Physiotherapy: interventions for gross motor development, including co-ordination, strength, balance and muscle length to improve function and participation at home, school and sports.

How to access our service:

You do not need a GP referral to access our service. You can present to Allied Health Reception (for Speech Pathology and Physiotherapy) or the Community Rehabilitation Centre (for Occupational Therapy) to initiate a referral for your child. You can also contact us by phone:

Allied Health: 5033 9390

Community Rehabilitation Centre: 5033 9321

You will be asked to provide your ‘Letter of Introduction’ and/or your child’s HCWA/ or Better Start CRN (customer reference number) when you make contact with our service.


Your child’s sessions will be funded through their Better Start or HCWA funding package. Please be aware that this funding is capped at$12,000 (total) and $6000 per year. Session fees are dependent on the type of session provided, ranging from $140 -$250.

Clinician time is allocated for each session. If your child’s session does not run for the entirety of the allocated time, the full session fee will be charged.

Your clinician will provide you with further information about the fees of this service.

Accessing other HCWA/Better Start Services:

Swan Hill District Health is one of a number of providers of HCWA and Better Start services in the Swan Hill region. Information about other service providers in Swan Hill can be accessed at:

https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/disability-and-carers/program-services/for-people-with-disability/helping-children-with-autism/providers (For HCWA service providers)

https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/disability-and-carers/program-services/for-people-with-disability/better-start/service-providers (For Better Start service providers)

Further information:

Please see the following websites for further information on Better Start or Helping Children with Autism:



SHDH Children's Health Services Brochure

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