ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The Early Intervention Indigenous Liaison Officer (EI ILO) Program
The Early Intervention Indigenous Liaison Officer (EI ILO) Program aims to increase awareness of childhood disability in Indigenous families and communities, assist access to diagnosis, education and funding, and to provide links to culturally relevant services to enable a better understanding of each other and the roles they play in their child’s wellbeing.
The program, originally known as the Aboriginal Liaison Officer Program, was created in July 2012 in response to the disproportionately low number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families seeking support for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), despite the prevalence rate of cases for young children in Australia being reported at 1:100.
In 2015, the program was extended to include other childhood disabilities and renamed the EI ILO program.
The key is to supply families and service providers in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with the right tools, language and information to ensure they are confident to visit a GP or paediatrician and to ensure a correct diagnosis is made.
Three EI ILOs based at Autism Queensland are charged with raising awareness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities nationally about:
Developmental red flags
Pathways for diagnosis
The benefits of early intervention
Funding options for early intervention.
Through the work of the EI ILOs, this program aims to reach into communities, build awareness and capacity, and ensure that service providers on the ground can help families navigate the system in a safe and culturally appropriate way.