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Assessing Service Providers

Posted on December 15, 2018 by All In

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Finding the right service provider can be a daunting task.


We have compiled a list of questions below to guide you as you make your decision.


  1. Is the service provider part of an accreditation system, accredited and does it have a good reputation?
  2. Do their staff have professional accreditation and/or appropriate training?
  3. Is the service professionally linked with other well-established services?
  4. Is the service provider using evidence based interventions?
  5. Does the service provider have experience and expertise in these areas: social work, case management, disability support, community development, psychology, education, speech pathology, audiology, orthoptics, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, child development?
  6. Is the service provider family centred? Does it include family members to work alongside the professionals and learn how to help the child? Does it provide the family with support and guidance?
  7. Is the service provider developmentally appropriate? Is it specially designed for children with special needs? Does it have staff who are specially trained in the intervention and services they provide? Does it develop an individual plan for the child and review the plan regularly? Does it track the child’s progress with regular assessments?
  8. Is the service provider child focused? Does it focus on developing specific skills? Does it include strategies to help the child learn new skills and use them in different settings? Does it prepare and support the child for the move to school? Does it find ways of getting the child with special needs together with typically developing children (ideally of the same age)?
  9. Is the service provider supportive and structured? Does it provide a supportive learning environment to make the child feel comfortable and supported? Is it highly structured, well organised, regular and predictable?
  10. Additional practical information to think about:
    • The centre’s location
    • The service’s operating hours
    • How long it takes to get an appointment
    • Waiting lists
    • The service’s policy on cancelling appointments
    • Emergency care or services
    • When and how often will the child receive the service
    • How long will each session likely take
    • What are the costs involved?
    • Are there subsidies, rebates or funding that can help parents afford the service?
    • How much time and involvement is expected from parents?