Developmental Program

Important notice 

In order to minimise the risk of exposing country families and in turn spreading COVID-19 to largely untouched regional and remote communities, it is with regret that we have decided to postpone all face-to-face visits for PDP clients for the foreseeable future.

RFW continues to be committed to ensuring ongoing services and support for children and families during this time and we will continue to offer our PDP services online via video calls.

Our Telecare service is an award-winning program that brings our multidisciplinary services to you by connecting your child to us via video conferencing technology. At Royal Far West, we already deliver over half of our paediatrics, psychiatry, psychology, speech therapy, occupational therapy and social work services by telecare and we have a great deal of experience and success in providing care this way.

PDP Telecare service can be delivered into the home or school. All that you need is a computer, laptop or tablet with a webcam, microphone and speaker, and access to high-speed internet.

Our referral process remains the same, however, as we endeavour to support as many families as possible, our waitlist continues to grow. Because of this, we ask you to be patient with us as there is likely to be extended wait times to access our PDP services.


Our Paediatric Developmental Program (PDP) comprises of a comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment, diagnosis, review and treatment service for children with complex developmental and behavioural issues. This is a specialist service with expertise in supporting complex families, trauma-informed care, and family-centred practice. The Program is free to families who meet our specific eligibility criteria.

Children and their families travel to Royal Far West in Manly for a week-long stay, during which they have access to a multidisciplinary team that includes:
  • Neurodevelopmental paediatrics
  • Child and adolescent psychiatry
  • Speech pathology
  • Psychology
  • Occupational therapy
  • Social work
  • Special educators
  • Dietetics
  • Orthoptic and ophthalmology
  • Oral health services

Families stay on-site at our Drummond House accommodation facility, and children attend the Royal Far West School during the school term.

After school, children are invited to participate in our Recreation Program, which involves a broad range of exciting activities designed to build confidence, reinforce health and well-being, and encourage the children to have fun.

Due to very high demand, we have an admissions process to ensure that our services go to those who are most in need.

Download PDP Factsheet

Accessing this program

Step 1: Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, the child must:

  • Be under 12 years of age.
  • Reside in an area where there is no access to the appropriate health services.
  • Reside within the program’s NSW geographical boundaries of north of Taree, west of the Great Dividing Range (Lithgow), or south of Nowra.
  • Fulfill relevant clinical criteria.

Because of our focus on early intervention and resource allocation, we are unable to provide assessment services to:

  • Children 13 years or older.
  • Children accessing appropriate local services, or for whom an appropriate local service exists (although Royal Far West may act as a secondary referral for those service providers).
  • Children with acute conditions for which a more urgent response is required.
  • Children whose behaviour or family situation comprises a risk to themselves or others, such that a visit to the Manly site is considered unsafe (these children may become eligible at a later date if issues resolve sufficiently).
  • Children for whom the primary issue relates to an acute mental health issue.

If you are eligible to receive the Department of Social Services BetterStart or Helping Children with Autism Packages (HCWA), you may be able to access the Royal Far West Windmill Program, an early intervention therapy service for children from rural and regional NSW with disabilities.

Step 2: Referral
  • To access the PDP you will need a completed referral form from your local doctor or your paediatrician if you have one.
  • Sending copies of previous assessments, reports or letters is of great assistance.

Medical Referral Form

Step 3: Acknowledgement
  • If the referral meets eligibility criteria, you will be sent a letter acknowledging the referral, as well as a parent questionnaire, and a school questionnaire.
  • Reports or assessments that have not already been sent will also be requested.
Step 4: Parent & School Questionnaires
  • The parent questionnaire and consent form need to be returned. The school questionnaire is to be completed and returned by the school.
  • Sending completed questionnaires with the referral and reports helps the eligibility assessment process.
  • All forms are to be returned via email to or via post to PO Box 52 Manly NSW 1655.

Parent Questionnaire
School Questionnaire

Step 5: Review & Acceptance

When the completed forms, and relevant reports/letters, are received by Royal Far West, the referral will be reviewed by our Intake team. If the referral is accepted, it will be prioritised by age, where you live, reasons and date of referral.

Step 6: Admission

Prior to admission, your Intake Manager or Care Coordinator will contact you to plan your upcoming visit, and discuss any further information needed to ensure you get the most out of your time here with the team

Step 7: Cancellations Policy

Download our Cancellations Policy – PDP

Oral Health School
Access dental treatment

Royal Far West provides oral health check-ups for children attending the PDP program if they do not have access to dental services at home.

If your child requires further treatment a referral is made to one of the local dental services in your area.

Royal Far West School

With a school on-site in Manly, we can undertake integrated clinical and learning assessments and planning. We can also provide continued schooling for kids who are accessing our Manly-based programs, as well as their siblings.

Short-term programs are delivered to four multi-grade classes from Preschool to Year 12 students, including a class specifically for kids with disabilities. These small groups provide a safe, secure and happy environment where students can excel, and the children love them.

Through the School, Royal Far West also offers two literacy-based programs via telecare:

SWAY (Sounds, Words, Aboriginal Language and Yarning)

An oral language and early literacy program developed specifically for Aboriginal children.

An innovative technology-based outreach-learning program supporting students in rural New South Wales.

For more information, please visit the RFW School website.

Oral Health
Directions & Transport

If can’t find the information you need, have any questions or wish to obtain a registration package, please get in contact:
1800 500 061 or send us an email