Supporting Vulnerable Kids to Get Active: Here’s How Caseworkers Can Help

With community activities now beginning to resume in the wake of COVID-19, ACWA is eager to remind NGO caseworkers and support staff how easy it is to get the children and young people you are working with involved in sport, recreation and creative pursuits currently available through the NSW Government’s Active Kids and Creative Kids programs.

Under the Active Kids program, parents and carers can receive two $100 vouchers, per child, each year to put towards the costs of sporting, fitness and recreation activities being run by registered providers. The first voucher can be claimed anytime from January to December, while the second is available after July 1. Both vouchers are valid until the end of the year. The program has a wide choice of activities for children and young people to throw their energy into, from traditional team sports, through to individual pursuits including gymnastics, boxing, rock climbing and parkour, and local Girl Guides and Scouting groups. You can explore the full spectrum of activities via the Active Kids registered provider list.

Similarly, the Creative Kids program provides families with one $100 voucher per year to help support the costs of their children’s creative and cultural interests, from music, dance and visual art to creative writing, craft and graphic design. Again, there is a Creative Kids registered provider list to help you discover the variety of activities that are available.

ACWA wants to make sure that all vulnerable children and young people have the opportunity to participate in these two programs, so they can:

  • Experience the physical and emotional benefits that come with participating in sports and creative activities.
  • Find their passion and learn new skills.
  • Make critical connections with peers and mentors.
  • Integrate themselves into the wider community.
  • Learn a range of important life skills in areas including confidence, leadership, problem solving, teamwork and resilience.

As caseworkers, you can help make this happen for the children and young people you work with by:

  • Encouraging and assisting carers/parents to apply for a voucher for their child/children, or
  • Applying for a voucher on behalf of a child/young person you work with, as an authorised representative.

Either way, the process is easy:

Step 1:
Carers/parents/caseworkers can apply for Active Kids/Creative Kids vouchers through a MyService NSW Account. To activate an account, applicants will need to provide contact details and two forms of identification. These ID are required for verification purposes only – the details are not retained on file.

If you’re a caseworker applying for a voucher on behalf of a child or a young person you work with, you may wish to establish a separate MyService NSW Account for this purpose, rather than using your own personal account.

Step 2:
Once the account has been established, parents/carers/caseworkers can then apply for a voucher by selecting the Active Kids or Creative Kids icon under ‘Services’.

As part of the process, the applicant will need to provide:

  • The child’s name
  • Date of Birth
  • Medicare Number*

* Caseworkers may need to work with the carer to source a child’s Medicare details if they are not available on ChildStory or local case management systems. It’s good practice to ensure Medicare details are recorded.

Step 3:
As soon as the application has been approved, a voucher will be displayed at the end of the transaction and emailed to the nominated MyService NSW Account address.

Step 4:
With the voucher now ready to redeem, caseworkers can use your well-honed case planning skills to help the child/young person find the perfect activity for them (who knows, you may well be setting them on the path towards a lifelong passion!).

Step 5:
Once the activity has been chosen, all that is left to do is give the voucher number to the registered provider – and then let the fun and games begin!

Further details about the Active Kids and Creative Kids program can be found at the following websites:

Active Kids: www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/active-kids
Creative Kids: www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/creative-kids

For more information, please email the Active Kids team: activekids@sport.nsw.gov.au