We are excited to share a new service offering with you.

In response to the growing demand for specialist paediatric allied health support for children with a disability and/or developmental delay, our team at Firstchance has also grown to include the role of Therapy Assistant.

This new role will ensure we can continue to provide families in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, and Port Stephens with the best practice services and support we are known for.

The role is part of our continual quality improvement model. It will enhance the quality of specialised knowledge and skills to ensure that we can continue to provide quality services that are outcomes focused and meet the needs of children and families.

How will a Therapy Assistant support my child's Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, or Physiotherapy Program?

The benefits of having a Therapy Assistant can include:

  • Increased opportunity for your child to achieve sustainable outcomes.
  • Improve access and frequency of sessions without compromising on quality.
  • Reduce costs, so you can receive more. A Therapy Assistant will provide you with increased value for money. 
  • You already have many competing demands on your time and attention; by engaging a Therapy Assistant to support the implementation of your child’s program, you will have more opportunities to learn from the Therapy Assistant and to implement ideas into everyday experiences.
  • Your child may respond better to and work harder with a Therapy Assistant than a parent.
  • Your Therapy Assistant will be under the supervision and guidance of a qualified Firstchance Therapist.

How does it work?

Our Therapy Assistant is trained by a qualified Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, or Physiotherapist depending on the goal you are working on.

Working alongside our quality Therapist, who will train and regularly review the work undertaken by the Therapy Assistant. Your child's Therapy Assistant will implement a contextualised program developed by the Therapist to meet the needs of your child.

They are supervised by your child’s qualified Therapist to review if any changes are required for the next session. The Therapist will monitor and review the goals on a regular basis, and you will be consulted by our qualified therapist to ensure we continue to achieve sustainable outcomes for your child.

What is the difference between a Therapist and a Therapy Assistant?

Therapists - Allied Health professionals: are professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, psychologists, and social workers who are university-trained and have high-level skills in their discipline area. At Firstchance they are responsible for assessing, identifying, diagnosing, making recommendations, and supporting children with a disability or developmental delay or health conditions.

Therapists will maintain responsibility for assessments and clinical decision making including working with you to identify, prioritise and review goals for your child and developing a program of supports and strategies which can be implemented by the Therapy Assistant.

Therapy Assistant: can be university students training in Allied Health or qualified and skilled staff who have experience working with children and families. Therapy Assistants are employed under the supervision of an allied health professional who is required to develop goals with the family and develop a program of support for the Therapy Assistant to implement. The Therapy Assistant will be regularly supervised by a qualified Therapist.