How can you find an advocate or support person?

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There are many organisations that can help you advocate for your child.

On this page:

Advocacy organisations

The Association for Children with a Disability (ACD) is an advocacy organisation. Supporting parents and carers to speak up for their child is at the heart of what we do.

There are many other advocacy organisations, including those in regional areas, those for specific disabilities, Aboriginal organisations (such as Aboriginal co-ops and health services), and organisations and working that have particular expertise in supporting families from migrant communities.

All families are welcome to contact generalist advocacy organisations like ACD, including migrant and Aboriginal families.

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Other professionals who know your child

Often, a professional in another role will offer to step in, and support you to advocate for your child. They might do this on one occasion, or they might become an essential part of your ongoing support network. Families in Learning Together have had advocacy support from a range of professionals, including advocacy organizations, occupational therapists, case managers, speech therapists, social workers, community development workers and psychologists.

Specialists can also offer expert advice to you and the school, including through your child’s SSG meeting.

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Family members and friends

Many parents and carers go to meetings with their spouse or partner, a friend or another family member. Sometimes another parent or carer from school might offer to support you, especially if they have been through similar issues. Aboriginal families might have support from a community advocate.

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The approach will change if you engage a lawyer

Be aware that if you engage a lawyer (paid or otherwise) to act for you in your dealings with a government school, the DET complaints policy outlined in Learning Together will no longer apply and your matter will be referred to lawyers representing DET.

This will not be the case if you are supported by an unpaid advocate such as a support worker from ACD or similar, or by another professional, or friend or family member, acting in an advocacy and support role. In all of those cases, the process outlined in Learning Together will apply.

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