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NDIS, Social Work and Therapy

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

In July 2022, the NDIA announced that Social Workers who are registered with the Australian Association of Social Work (AASW) have finally been allocated their own specific line (item) number for therapy sessions for clients over 7 years. Until this change occured, Social Workers were classified in the "other therapies" category when providing counselling services to NDIS funded clients. This also left us somewhat unsure what to charge NDIS clients for counselling sessions as we did not have a specific item number (and fee) allocated to Counselling sessions provided by a Social Worker.

The new line numbers for Social Workers providing counselling sessions for client over 7 years have now been added to the NDIS 2022/23 new price guide for NDIS services. This is fantastic news and long overdue recognition for the profession of Social Work. We are now recognised as providing specific psychological services-including Assessment, recommendation, therapy and training in line with other Mental Health Professionals. This is exciting as Social Workers continually fight for this recognition, often without much progress. As AASW CEO Cindy Smith said “To have AASW social workers provided with their own item numbers and distinction outside of ‘other therapies’ clearly shows the value that AASW social workers provide to the users of NDIS services. This is the recognition, demonstration of value and professionalism that our members have long sought and deserve."

What does this means to NDIS counselling clients who attend Mindful Life Wellness? In practical terms, it means the fee for service is in line with the NDIA recommended fee of $193.99.

NDIS clients have many complexities. Sessions often require further planning. And the work itself can be challenging with sessions requiring a range of therapeutic interventions, being more taxing for the Clinician. There is also significantly more admin than non NDIS clients. Often Therapists need to deal with Plan Managers along with compliance to NDIA protocol.

For specifics, please see relevant info below taken directly from the NDIS price guide and summarized by the AASW. For further reference also see below link to the 2022/23 NDIS. The changes to Social Work services are on pg 90 and 91

From the AASW

"Social workers are now specifically mentioned under

Capacity Building – Improved Daily Living section- Assessment Recommendation Therapy or Training -

*Assessment Recommendation Therapy or Training-Social Worker (clients over 7 years) 15_621_0128_1_3

Fee $193.99 for 60mins

Please note for clients under 7 years, the line number remains the same as the 2021/22 price guide. AASW Social Workers continue to beable to provide a service to children under 7 via this item number. Our hope is that in the future this will be rectified and a number specifically for Social Workers will be created. Item number as follows;

Capacity Building – Improved Daily Living section- Assessment Recommendation Therapy or Training -

* Capacity Building For Early Childhood Interventions-Other Professional


Fee $193.99 for 60mins

Mindful Life Wellness can also offer groupwork sessions to children via the following line number

*Community Engagement Assistance


Fee $45.71 for 60mins

Sessions-both group and 1:1 with NDIS clients aim to build capacity and interpersonal skills, with the overall goal being to assist clients to develop a range of skills to improve daily function and overall well-being. These sessions encompass Psycho-social support along with skills building. Skill building is focused on; communication, social skills, self regulation skills, confidence and independence.

Mindful Life Wellness can offer counselling sessions to children and adults who are self and plan managed with or without Therapy Dog Tilly. ($30 surcharge applies to AAT sessions). Unfortunately, as of January 2023, Mindful Life Wellness is at capacity and unable to take on 1:1 clients, there is however, immediate availability in the Kids Mindfulness Program

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