Pathways for Children with Developmental Delay

The mainstream service system for children with developmental delay is known to be complex and difficult to navigate. HealthWest is working with key service providers in Melbourne’s west to provide clarity about eligibility and pathways for public services for children with developmental delay and to streamline service provision.

This work is increasingly important in light of the growing demand for services and the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) from October 1st 2018.



In 2016/2017 HealthWest consulted widely with service providers and referrers across the western metropolitan region of Melbourne. The Pathways for Children with Developmental Delay (PCDD) report describes the key service system challenges, the nature and implications of these challenges, opportunities for regional improvements and key recommendations to address these.

  • Summary Report – this document outlines the key findings and recommendations.
  • Project Report– this full report includes more detailed findings related to the project and appendices.


Referral Decision Aid

HealthWest is continuing to work with the Pathways for Children with Developmental Delay (PCDD) Alliance and key stakeholders on the recommendations for action in the Phase One PCDD report.

The Referral Decision Aid was developed and launched in November 2017 to support the referral of preschool-aged children with developmental delays to appropriate services in Melbourne’s west, in a timely manner.

In 2018, HealthWest engaged First Person Consulting to conduct a process and impact evaluation, exploring the short-term outcomes of the Referral Decision Aid, as well as documenting key lessons learned in the process that can inform future work of a similar nature in Melbourne’s west and beyond.


Continuing work

Other areas of focus include:

  • Collectively monitoring system changes and challenges resulting from the rollout of NDIS.
  • Embedding regional efficiencies within intake processes including eligibility and referral pathways.
  • Development and piloting of shared indicators for vulnerability with a view to understanding how vulnerability, including risk and protective factors, can be measured with this cohort.
  • Building the capacity of the workforce to improve responsiveness to health literacy and vulnerability.


This project is guided by the PCDD Alliance; a project advisory group consisting of representation from western service providers, State Government and the Royal Children’s Hospital.



Mindy Allott, Systems Integration Manager
Phone 9248 9658 or