Complex Needs Resources

Working with Complex Needs Clients

Acquired Brain Injury - Complex Needs - Criminal Justice Contact -

Intellectual Disability - Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

NADA Resources - Further Resources



NADA Resources

Practice Enhancement Program Literature Review and Member Consultation Report

The report includes a literature review on complex needs policy and practice including international and Australia experiences, a review of the NADA member consultation undertaken in early 2011 and case study examples of current practice in relation to this group.  To download the report click here.


NADA Practice Enhancement Program Email Updates

Monthly e-bulliten's disseminated to Service Practice Enhancement Seeding Grant with information on the Practice Enhancement Program, new resources, research and upcoming events. To view past email updates click here.


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Acquired Brain Injury


Please note factsheet links are current as on 9 June 2011, factsheets are updated regularly and therefore should be downloaded directly from the source website. 

•  Acquired brain injury and alcohol and other drugs, Brain Injury Australia (BIA)

•  Acquired brain injury and the criminal justice system,  BIA

•  Acquired brain injury and mental health services, BIA

•  Brain Injury - What is it and how does it happen?, Brain Injury Association NSW (BIANSW)*

•  Brain Injury - Changes that may result from a brain injury, BIANSW*

•  Brain Injury, Psychiatric Disability, Intellectual Disability - are they the same?, BIANSW *

•  The connection between acquired brain injury and homelessness, BIA

Synapse (Brain Injury Ass QLD) have over 100 factsheets available on issues related to ABI, visit their website to view the full range on some of the factsheets providing tips and challanging behaviour are linked below.

Anger, Synapse

Documenting Behaviour, Synapse

•  Motivation and Initiation, Synapse

•  Making a Positive Behaviour Support Plan, Synapse

•  Impaired Self Awareness, Synapse

•  Impulsivity , Synapse

•  What Are Challenging and Complex Behaviours, Synapse

•  What Is The Message Behind A Behaviour?, Synapse

•  What is Positive Behaviour Support, Synapse

(*Factsheets also available in community languages on the BIANSW website).


• Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2007. Disability in Australia: acquired brain injury
Bulletin no. 55. Cat no. AUS 96. Canberra: AIHW.

• Acquired Brain Injury THE FACTS: A practical guide to understanding and responding to ABI (3rd Edition) Synapse.

• Ageing Disability and Homecare ABI Web Resource

A web page dedicated to ABI on the Family and Community Services Ageing, Disability & Home Care website has recently gone live, click here to visit the webpage which gives information on care and support pathways for people with an ABI as well as providing information on the new ADHC Training resource (web based and face to face training options available).

Complexities of co-morbidity (acquired brain injury and mental illness) and the intersection between the health and community services system Health Paper, Brain Injury Australia Inc. (2007). 

• Understanding & Living with Brain Injury ( for service providersfor individuals with acquired brain injuryfor carers and family members ; for educators) BIANSW.

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Complex needs

Multiple and Complex Needs Initiative (MACNI) Victoria
The Victoria Human Services Department website includes a range of information stemming form the MACNI these can be accessed here.

Documents relating to the development of MACNI (literature reviews, consultation reports and staged process reports) can be found here.

Evaluation Reports can be accessed here.

Documents relating to Care Plan Coordination can be accessed here.


People with Exceptionally Complex Needs (PECN)

Copies of the 2010 and 2011 Evaluation Reports and more information visit the MH Commision Western Australia Website by clicking here.

THE WICKING PROJECT: Wintringham & arbias Victoria

•  Wintringham, The Wicking Project Report 1: The Wintringham model of residential care A specialised service providing for a group of older people with complex care needs, September 2007. Click here to access the Wintringham website and visit the Research page.

•  Rota-Bartelink, A., Models of Care for Elderly People with complex care needs arising from alcohol related dementia and brain injury,  2006, Wintringham and arbias Victoria

For more information on the Wintringham Wicking Project visit the Wintringham website here.

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Criminal Justice Contact

•  Baldry, E., Dowse, L., & Clarence, M., Background Paper: People with Mental Health and Cognitive Disability: Pathways into and out of the Criminal Justice System, 2011, University of NSW.

• Community Restorative Centre NSW Resources

CRC produces a range of publications and resources for ex-prisoners, families and service providers in a range of community languages. To order free copies of  their resources or download PDF versions click here.

•  IDRS, Enabling Justice Report: A report on problems and solutions in relation to diversion of alleged offenders with intellectual disability from the New South Wales local courts system with particular reference to the practical operation of s32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 No 10 (NSW), 2008  

• Simpson J et al.,The Framework Report: Appropriate community services in NSW for offenders with intellectual disabilities and those at risk of offending, 2001, IDRS & NSW CID.

•  NO BARS: Supporting drug and alcohol service to work with criminal justice clients
The web resource provides a wide range of information on prisoners, ex-prisoners and the criminal justice system in NSW. 

Please visit the NO BARS website Resource page for a comprehensive overview of resources related to criminal justice clients. 

NO BARS Resources include: Useful Contacts, Research & Publications and Glossary of terms(including prison slang).

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Intellectual Disability

Please note factsheets are updated regularly and therefore are linked (and should be downloaded) directly from the source website. 

•  Common Myths about people with an ID, NSW Coucil of Intelelctual Disability (NSW CID)

•  Language: a powerful way of valuing people with intellectual disability, NSW CID

•  Maximising a Person's Ability to Make Their Own Decisions, IDRS

•  Producing Information for People with a Intellectual Disability, IDRS

•  What Is Intellectual Disability? NSW CID

•  What to do when things go wrong: information for people with  intellectual disability and their families, NSW CID

•  To view more of NSW CID HEALTH FACTSHEETS visit their website:

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Fetal alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Compilation of Links to Resources in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
The Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association (rffada) and Training Connections Australia (TCA) have developed this resource for the public. Links are categorised as:

Research | Journal Articles and Reports | Intervention Strategies | Criminal Justice | Prevention |Allied Health | Health Practitioners| Employment and FASD| Teachers and Educators |Parents and Carers| Support Groups | Australia FASD Training | General Interest. 

Click here to access the resource. 


Please note factsheet links are current as on 9 June 2011, factsheets are updated regularly and therefore should be downloaded directly from the source website. 

Living and working with adolescents with FASD, NOFASD

8 Essentials for Success Brochure,MOFAS

Overlapping Behavioral Characteristics & Related Mental Health Diagnoses in Children,  MOFAS



•  Dinning, B. Podruski, A. Fox, D & Wright, A. We Care: Facilitators' Manual Practical skills for front-line workers working with adults affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: specially designed for those working with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, 2004 annewright and associates inc. 

• NOFASD has a range of useful resources visit

Gelb, K. & Rutman, D., A Literature Review on Promising Approaches in Substance Use Treatment and Care for Women with FASD, 2011, Victoria, BC: University of Victoria.

Rutman, D., Voices of Women with FASD: Promising Approaches in Substance Use Treatment and Care, 2011, Victoria, BC: University of Victoria.

Rutman, D., Service Providers' Perspectives on Promising Approaches in SubstanceUse Treatment and Care for Women with FASD,
2011, Victoria, BC: University of Victoria.

For more information visit the University of Victoria BC, Canada Website here.


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Further Resources

Useful contacts, services and links

links to a range of services working in complex needs areas. 

PEP Events Resource Page

Hosts information on NADA hosted Practice Enhancement Program activities. 


These resource pages are not exhaustive - if you would like to suggest resources, links or services that should be included please contact Ciara.



For information on training available visit the NADA TRAINING DIRECTORY on the training grants page (view by training stream or by training organisations), check out the NADA Events page to find information on upcoming training events and visit the PEP Events page for information on Complex Needs Training and Events rolled out between 2010- 2012.

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