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This information is specific to TEI service providers.

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Should I continue providing services to my clients?

We want to continue delivering essential services in ways that are safe for the community. Targeted Earlier Intervention services are critical to supporting children, young people, families and communities in NSW.

We understand you may need to scale down non-essential services so you can continue to deliver essential services. You may also need to change the way you deliver services to follow government restrictions. Consider alternative options for continuing service delivery, such as:

  • virtual neighbourhood networks using social media to ensure people stay connected to their community and get the support they need
  • small group teleconferences and online video meetings to facilitate group activities and hold community meetings
  • one-on-one catch ups over phone or video to give people more targeted support.

Please discuss this with your DCJ Contract Manager and get approval before making any changes to your service delivery.

NCOSS have issued a COVID-19 Community Sector Resource to help you plan for service continuity in this challenging time.


Should I continue providing face-to-face services?

You should reduce face-to-face contact by delivering services to clients using other means e.g. phone, email or video.

If it is essential you provide the service face-to-face, call or SMS clients ahead of time to assess the risk they have been exposed to COVID-19. Ask clients:

  • Do you or anyone in your household have a fever, cough, breathing difficulties or any other flu-like symptoms?
  • Have you or anyone in your household been told to self-isolate?

If a client answers yes to any of these questions, delay face-to-face contact until they are no longer at risk.

If you cannot delay face-to-face services you should take measures to protect yourself:

  • ensure the person who is unwell or in COVID-19 related isolation wears a surgical face mask
  • clean surfaces with detergent and then with disinfectant
  • clean hands frequently with soap and water, or with alcoholic hand sanitiser
  • stand at least 1.5 metres away from the client.

What services can we provide under the laws?

Delivering services to vulnerable people

  • There are no restrictions on the number of persons allowed on premises when delivering services to vulnerable people.
  • You must continue practicing physical distancing.

Delivering services outside of community centres

  • You must follow the four square metre rule.
  • You may allow a maximum of 100 people in a predominantly inside space.
  • You may allow a maximum of 500 people in a predominantly outside space.

Delivering services in schools

  • You must follow the four square metre rule.
  • You may allow a maximum of 100 people in a predominantly inside space.
  • You may allow a maximum of 500 people in a predominantly outside space.

Note: last updated 7 July 2020. Visit the NSW Government website for most up to date rules for gatherings, public places and businesses.


Can I continue to provide services in a community centre?

Yes, you may deliver services to up to 20 people in community centres (not including staff, volunteers or parents, guardians and carers of people participating). However, you must follow the four square metre rule.

If you manage the community centre, you must develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan. If you deliver your service in a community centre, you must ask the centre administration to share their COVID-19 Safety Plan with you.


Can I transport a client in a vehicle? How do I maintain social distancing?

Yes. You can travel in a vehicle or in other forms of transportation with other people where it is required in order to deliver a service.

It is recommended that you limit the number of people in a vehicle and provide space between passengers where possible.


Will my funding be affected if I need to make changes to my service due to COVID-19?

No, your funding will not be affected if you need to make changes to your service because of COVID-19. We understand the changes may impact your performance and your ability to collect and report data. We will take this into consideration and remain flexible during this challenging time.

Contract managers are meeting regularly to understand the pressures of the changing environment. Please contact your contract manager to discuss any changes to service delivery.


What should I do if I, a staff member, or a client is suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19?

Please notify your local Public Health Unit by calling the state-wide number on 1300 066 055.

Contact your DCJ Contract Manager if issues relating to COVID-19 disrupt your staffing levels or service delivery.


What advice should I give clients about COVID-19?

You can provide basic advice, and encourage parents and children to:

  • Wash their hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or hand dryer.
  • Try not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze or if not, cough into their elbow crook.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of a cold
  • Stay home if they feel sick.
  • If they take medication, make sure they have enough to last a few weeks.

Healthdirect has also developed infographics about COVID-19 which you can give to families.


Who do I contact if I need more information for my service?

Please contact your local contract manager or email TEIReform@facs.nsw.gov.au if you have any questions.


Fams’ TEI CEO Telelink questions about COVID-19

Do services need to renegotiate their contracts if they have changed the way they deliver services due to COVID-19?

There is no need to re-negotiate or alter TEI Schedules.

We are drafting Additional Supplementary Conditions to insert into the TEI Schedule. These conditions will acknowledge the impact of COVID-19 and allow services to respond flexibly.

What should TEI services do if an auspice organisation directs them to stop delivering services or closes the facility they operate within?

Please contact your contract manager to discuss alternative service delivery options and additional District support.

We want to continue delivering essential services in ways that are safe for the community. TEI services are critical to supporting children, young people, families and communities in NSW.

What is considered an 'asset' in the new contracting arrangements?

An asset is any item of tangible property that was purchased, leased or otherwise acquired either wholly or in part with the funds. The full definition is provided at section 1.1 and 11 of the Standard Terms.

What proportion of TEI services have stopped operating during COVID-19?

The recent snapshot of TEI services showed that less than 1% of TEI services have stopped delivering services. The vast majority of TEI services have adapted their service delivery to continue to support vulnerable people and families. DCJ will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on TEI service delivery.

Is it possible to redirect assets from those that have closed to those that remain open and delivering services?

The vast majority of TEI services have adapted their service delivery to continue to support vulnerable people and families. If TEI services are not currently using assets and are willing to offer them to other local services, DCJ supports this.

Districts will also work with local services to encourage collaboration.

Will there be additional funding released for TEI services that are continuing to work with vulnerable clients?

We are exploring opportunities to support the TEI sector’s COVID-19 response. Usual funding will continue.

What support will DCJ provide TEI services with respect to Work, Health and Safety and risk management?

Please visit the DCJ COVID-19 response website for information about how to continue to work safely with clients. There is also a page with information specific to TEI service providers.

We also encourage you to access resources through NCOSS  and the other peaks. Visit the ConnectingUp resource page for support accessing and using technology during the COVID-19 crisis.

Is there scope for cross government action around ensuring internet coverage in rural and remote areas?

DCJ acknowledges the challenges experienced by rural and remote communities and service providers in accessing internet. We will continue to work with providers to deliver TEI essential services, and where possible, alternate forms of service delivery.

What options are available to address the risk of vicarious trauma during COVID-19?

We know COVID-19 is having an impact on the wellbeing of the TEI workforce. As such, eligible TEI-funded services will have access to the DCJ Employee Assistance Program (EAP) during COVID-19. The EAP provides counselling and support to staff and their immediate families.

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Last updated: 02 Jul 2020