Ability & Early Links

Ability Links NSW (ALNSW) is the government approach to local area coordination for people with a disability; the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC), NSW Department of Community Services fund ALNSW.South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation has 2 designated Aboriginal Community Linker positions that cover the Shoalhaven, Goulburn Mulwaree and Upper Lachlan Shire.

We offer these services:

The service is delivered by Community Linkers who will provide a locally based first point of contact designed to help people with disability aged 9-64, who do not currently access specialist disability support services, their families and carers to have their needs met within their local community.

Our Community Linkers have a strong local knowledge of mainstream and community based supports and services in your community.
Linkers can assist you to:

  • Set goals and plan for your future
  • Build your confidence to achieve your goals
  • Develop your existing support networks and create new networks
  • Look at ways you can participate in and be part of your community.

The Early Links program provides culturally appropriate, time-limited support to families of children aged less than nine years around the time of their child’s diagnosis with disability or developmental delay.

We assist Aboriginal children, from infants up until eight years of age, and their families to:

Recognise and build on individual and family strengths and support networks.
Look at ways children with disability can fully participate and be part of community and plan for the future.
Access specialist services throughout the time of diagnosis.
Early links operate in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Far South Coast regions.

Contact: linkers@southcoastams.org.au

Early Family Support provides a professional culturally sensitive service for parents with Aboriginal children. This program is focused on supporting families who care for children from 0 to 5 years old.
It is an early intervention service with a focus on families with new babies, first time parents and teenage parents who are in need of support that will guide them to a successful outcome.

Provide relevant information on early childhood services in accessing antenatal services assisting in the antenatal period
in planning preparation or the birth of your child.

Contact: psintake@southcoastams.org.au

Early Family Support SERVICES

Family Support

The Family Support Worker provides:

  • Strength based and Family centred approach
  • Family capacity by providing professional support
  • Build and maintain strong networks including individual and/or group activities
  • Are focused on outcomes
  • Provide support and guidance
  • Evidence based parenting information

We strive to give our Families a safer place to live in our community so they can live a happier and healthier life!

Contact: psintake@southcoastams.org.au

The Psychologist, Social Worker and Mentors (PS&M) services sits within the Child, Family & Disability team and provide supports for the South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation out of home care team, Boori Preschool, Early Links and Ability Links, Early Family Support, Family Support and their participants.

We provide training, therapeutic programs and individual support including:
• Reparative Parenting Program for kinship and foster carers
• Shared Stories and Shared Lives training for kinship and foster carers
• Bio psychosocial assessments and support
• Carer assessment and training
• Individual counselling and support relating to mental health disorders and/or symptoms e.g. adjustment, anxiety, grief and loss, depression, trauma or parenting a child with mental health symptoms.
• Facilitating Carer training meetings
• Critical case reviews and specialist recommendations
• Education support including cognitive and academic achievement assessments, classroom behaviour assessment and recommendations, school readiness assessments and individual learning support plans
• Mental health assessments, supports and referrals
• DRUMBEAT program – This is a 10 week drumming program developed by Holyoake. The program can be provided for people from a variety of groups including adolescents, children, adults, carers and parents, participants with a disability
• Farming for Calm program – This program is a 10 week program for primary school aged children in out of home care. Six children attend a therapeutic farm in Berry for three hours each week with the goal of healing difficulties children may have relating to trauma, social skills, emotion and behaviour regulation and empathy. The program is a multisensory program where participants engage in farm based activities, art therapy practices, cultural support and animal interactions such as grooming horses, cuddling baby chickens and goats
• School holiday program for children and young people in out of home care
• Behaviour assessment and Individual Behaviour Support Plans
• Psychological assessment and report
• Individual mentoring for children and young people
• Leaving care and independent living program for young people aged 15-18 years and over who are transitioning from OOHC into more independent living arrangements
• Individual support for participants with a disability and their carers
• Funding and grant application to support internal SCMSAC programs

The referral procedure is conducted internally where SCMSAC staff identify a need and place a referral through to the Child, Family & Disability PS&D team. We will respond to a referral within a week and have a wait list for participants and clients we cannot provide immediate support to. For those who we cannot provide immediate support for who have an urgent need for services we will provide external referral recommendations.


Boori Preschool is a Community Based, Non-profit Aboriginal Preschool in the heart of the Shoalhaven area.
We provide early childhood education for children between the ages of three and six years.

Click here to find out more

The Jerrinja Supported Playgroup is part of the South Coast Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation’s (SCMSAC) Child, Family and Disability program, it’s staffed by SCMSAC staff and Noah’s Shoalhaven Early Childhood Educators. The program aims to support families with young children in the Jerrinja Aboriginal Community, so they can maintain good health practices and access educational opportunities that enable them to succeed.

The program does this through:

  • Providing the children with development and educational opportunities through play, to give them the best opportunities to succeed in pre-school and school;
  • Engaging the parents by modelling and sharing skills and resources, so they can provide the best environment for the children’s development;
  • Building links for the children and parents into the local preschool and school;
  • Organising workshops and designing activities to support the parents in such issues as healthy eating, child behaviour, reading to children, TAFE opportunities for mothers, developing craft and traditional skills;
  • Observing children’s development, and the health needs of the families and referring them to appropriate services where further assessment or treatment is required.
  • Jerrinja Supported Playgroup PROGRAMS