Complex Support Needs Planning

Planning Resource Kit

Being a planner with a person with disability and complex support needs

This Planning Resource Kit is intended to strengthen existing good practice and to provide guidance for engaging a person with complex support needs in planning. The kit is aimed at workers in planning or related roles, such as case managers or service coordinators, who engage with people with complex support needs. 

The Planning Resource Kit focuses on the planning process which is envisaged as a three-stage process:

  • Stage 1: Pre-planning
  • Stage 2: Planning conversations
  • Stage 3: Plan-to-action

Each of these stages is described in this kit with explanatory notes and a case study example to assist the user to apply the concepts to their planning role.

The Planning Resource Kit is designed to be used in conjunction with other planning tools and resources appropriate to the person, the planner, the service sector and the broader context in which the planning is undertaken

The development of this resource kit was funded by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.

Download the Planning Resource Kit (PDF) [4 Mb]

Download summary of the Resources Kit

Download Narrated Powerpoint Version

Training on “Planning with a Person with Cognitive Disability and Complex Support Needs”.

The Disability Justice Project in partnership with CCWT is hosting Susan Collings and Angela Dew to run 15 one day workshops across NSW from September 2016 – March 2017.

To register for this training, go to the Disability Justice Project website

Feedback for the Planning Resource Kit

"This resource looks great, very practical and easy to follow. I already have a vision of how this is going to be implemented and inform planning." Service provider

"We have found the planning resource very helpful for our planning unit in [graduate course]. It is an excellent resource – really well developed and presented." Academic

"This is a great resource - congratulations to you and your team for pulling this together.” Academic

"A great piece of work and very timely." Academic

Complex Support Needs Planning Resource Kit Ministerial Launch

On Friday 27th May 2016, UNSW Arts and Social Sciences hosted the official launch of the Complex Support Needs Planning Resource Kit by the NSW Minister for Disability Services, Ageing and Multiculturalism, The Honourable John Ajaka MLC.

The resource kit was funded by NSW Family and Community Services (FACS) and developed by UNSW Intellectual Disability Behaviour Support Program (IDBS), headed by Associate Professor, Leanne Dowse.

Professor Eileen Baldry welcomed guests on behalf of the Faculty and UNSW and spoke of the strong partnership between UNSW and FACS, of which this project is an outstanding example. Anne Marie Dwyer, Director, FACS Individualised Options and Geraldine O’Grady, District Director, FACS South East Sydney District, explained how the project came about and the operational significance of the kit for the disability sector. Associate Professor Dowse provided a summary of the project and outcomes and the positive reception the kit has already received from various services, sectors and the academic community. Minister Ajaka spoke of the important leadership that NSW is providing as the NDIS is rolled out across Australia. The Minister also announced additional funding for the development of a companion resource for service users.

Download the Planing Resource Kit (PDF)

For further information about the Kit, including plan training and evaluation, contact

Additional resources

  • Clickability is an Australian online disability service directory that links service users with services and provides them a platform to share their experiences and connect with others about issues that matter to them.
  • Helen Sanderson and Associates training and consultancy provide various materials and templates to support person centred thinking and planning.
  • Sonoran UCEDD, the University of Arizona Centre for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, is a resource for people in education, research and services related to the needs of people with developmental disabilities and provides a number of person centred planning tools and templates.

Electronic resources for planner professional competencies

Cultural competence - Resources, tip sheets, fact sheets and training available at:

Reflective practice - Practical activities to apply reflective practice available at:

Strengths based approach - Training and tools available at:

Motivational interviewing - Practice guide, worksheets, videos, and sample forms for practitioners available at: (PDF) (PDF)

Trauma-informed care - Training and tools available at: (PDF)