Glossary Terms

Unsure what a term means on this site? Find the definition here.

A - C
D - H
I - M
N - P
Q - S
T - V
W - Z
  • C

    Capacity Building

    Capacity Building practice encompasses building the capacity of the child, family, professionals and community through coaching and collaborative team work. The goal is to build the knowledge, skills and abilities of the individuals who will spend the most time with the child in order to have as great an impact as possible on the child’s learning and development.


    Coaching is a form of capacity building, it is an effective way to develop parent/caregiver and educator capabilities and has been defined as: An adult learning strategy in which the coach promotes the learner’s ability to reflect on his or her actions as a means to determine the effectiveness of an action or practice and develop a plan for refinement and use of the action in immediate and future situations (Shelden & Rush, 2010). Coaching facilitates an exchange of information between the ECI practitioner and family and where the ECI practitioner and parent/caregiver or educator jointly problem solve and reflect on current practices and address challenging situations (Shelden & Rush, 2010). Coaching  provides opportunities to learn and practice new strategies (Shelden & Rush, 2010).

    Collaborative Teamwork Practice

    Collaborative Teamwork Practice is where the family and professionals work together as a collaborative and integrated team around the child, communicating and sharing information, knowledge and skills, with one team member nominated as a key worker and main person working with the family.

    Culturally Responsive Practice

    Culturally Responsive Practice creates welcoming and culturally inclusive environments where all families are encouraged to participate in and contribute to children’s learning and development.  Practitioners are knowledgeable and respectful of diversity and provide services and supports in flexible ways that are responsive to each family’s cultural, ethnic, racial, language and socio-economic characteristics.

  • E

    Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA)

    Early Childhood Intervention Australia is the peak body for early childhood intervention in Australia, representing professionals and organisations that provide services for young children with disability and/or developmental delay and their families.

    Engaging the Child in Natural Environments

    Engaging the Child in Natural Environments promotes children’s inclusion through participation in daily routines, at home, in the community, and in early childhood settings. These natural learning environments contain many opportunities for all children to engage, participate, learn and practise skills, thus strengthening their sense of belonging.

    Evidence-Based Practice

    Evidence-based practice is a decision-making process that integrates the best available research evidence with family and professional wisdom’ (Buysse and Wesley, 2006). In other words, evidence-based practice involves a balance of empirically supported interventions, clinical expertise or practice wisdom, and client or family values, preferences and circumstances (CCCH, 2014).

    To ensure that they are working from a base of evidence informed by the latest research and practice, ECI practitioners should maintain knowledge and skills through lifelong continuing professional development. ECI also requires ongoing review and monitoring to ensure that practices are achieving the desired outcomes. ECI practitioners become more effective through critical reflection and a strong culture of professional enquiry (DEECD, 2011).

    Ongoing self-reflection, self-assessment and monitoring of practices are at the centre of the proposed development of practice standards.

  • F


    Family-Centred practice is a way of thinking and acting that ensures that professionals and families work in partnership and that family life, and family priorities and choices, drive what happens in planning and intervention. Family-centred practice builds on family strengths and assists families to develop their own networks of resources – both informal and formal.

  • I

    Inclusive and Participatory Practice

    Inclusive and Participatory Practice recognises that every child regardless of their needs has the right to participate fully in their family and community life and to have the same choices, opportunities and experiences as other children. All children need to feel accepted and to have a real sense of belonging. Children with disability and/or developmental delay may require additional support to enable them to participate meaningfully in their family, community and early childhood settings.


    The ‘I’ in NDIS stands for Insurance. Insurance is about investment. The aim of the insurance scheme is to maximise the social and economic participation of people with disability in the community by providing resourcing to individuals to achieve this. The flow on effects from this level of participation is predicted to reduce long term use of services, lead to employment and therefore reduce Government expenditure.


    Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) is the process of providing specialised support and services for infants and young children with disability and/or developmental delay, and their families in order to promote development, well-being and community participation.

  • K

    Key Worker

    The Key Worker acts as the conduit for the expertise of the whole team in most situations and uses transdisciplinary skills to do so. Where skills-based specialist intervention is required, the relevant team members should be involved. Although sharing many similarities with the transdisciplinary team model, the key worker model is seen as an enhancement of this model.


  • N

    National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)

    The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is an independent statutory agency. Their role is to implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

    National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

    The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)  is a new way for children and their families to access supports and to link into their communities. It puts the goals of your child and family at the centre of supports. The NDIS provides you with choice over who delivers the services you want and what these could look like in order to achieve the outcomes you want for your child. The NDIS is a scheme for Australians 0-65, meaning that the confusing system of all different funding throughout a person’s life will be streamlined into one system, ECI services will now be funded through the NDIS.

    NDIS Plan

    The NDIS Plan lists the goals for the child and family which have been discussed in the planning meeting. The NDIS plan lists all the supports which are both informal (family, friend and community supports) and formal (paid support).

  • O

    Outcome Based Approach

    Outcome Based Approaches focuses on outcomes that parents want for their child and family, and on identifying the skills needed to achieve these outcomes. ECI practitioners share their professional expertise and knowledge to enable families to make informed decisions. Outcomes focus on participation in meaningful activities in the home and community with outcomes measured and evaluated by ECI services from a child, family and community perspective.

  • P

    Participant Management of the Plan

    NDIS participants can choose how to manage the funding for the supports in their plan. There are a few options for families in terms of how they would like to manage their supports. This could range from requesting support to choose providers and requesting the NDIA manage the payments to independently choosing providers, paying them and managing supports completely. Families will talk through their options around plan management in their initial meeting with the NDIA. No matter which option is chosen the participant/family remains in control of which providers they select and when and how their supports are delivered.

  • S

    Service Agreement

    The Service Agreement is different to the NDIS plan. The Service Agreement is about what supports will be provided, when they are provided, how they are provided, how long for and how much they cost. The service agreement will be signed by the family and the service provider.

    Service Provider

    A Service Provider is a business or person that delivers some or all of the supports for the NDIS participant/family. E.G. an ECI agency is a service provider. Under the NDIS, families will choose the service providers they want to deliver their supports.

    Strengths-Based Practice

    Strengths-Based Practice builds on family members’ competencies; supports families to make decisions for themselves; and focuses on empowering families to do things for themselves within their social communities. Rather than focusing on correcting peoples’ weaknesses or problems, capacity-building and strength-based strategies recognise the assets and talents of people and help people use these competencies to strengthen functioning

  • T

    Transdisciplinary Team

    Transdisciplinary Team practice means that the family and professionals work together as a collaborative team sharing information, knowledge and skills across disciplinary boundaries, with a key worker coordinating and doing most, if not all, of the intervention. Families themselves are valued members of the team and are involved in all aspects of the process. All decisions in the areas of assessment and program planning, implementation and evaluation are made by team consensus. Role release is a feature of the transdisciplinary model. The key worker uses some direct intervention strategies from outside their discipline with supervision and support from relevant team members. ‘Role release’ allows the family to interact primarily with a keyworker, who works in consultation with other team members, to create a coordinated service for the families.