Opening Hours : Tuesday to Friday : 9am - 5pm
  Contact : (03) 9899 4004

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COVID-19: What to expect when you come into the clinic


At Stepping Forward Therapy Services we take the health & safety of all our patients very seriously. In lieu of recent events regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) we are taking additional hygiene measures to limit risk to patients and staff and to ease your concerns during your visit. Due to our high number of immunocompromised patients, we have taken additional measures to assist in protecting them. We thank you for your patience and understanding of the following:


Waiting Room:

Please note that we are now screening all patients in our efforts to assist with identifying at-risk individuals, and to limit exposure of our treatment rooms to respiratory infections.

All patients will be asked:

  1. In the past 14 days have you travelled overseas?
  2. In the past 14 days have you been in close contact with someone that has travelled overseas or is a suspected case of COVID-19?
  3. Do you have symptoms of a respiratory illness? For example: fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and/or fatigue?

You may be kindly asked to reschedule your appointment and contact the Coronovirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080 or seek immediate medical advice.


We are also asking you to assist in actively managing traffic and promoting social distancing in our waiting room. What does this mean?

  • Please use our hand sanitiser or arrival.
  • Please give other patients space when in the waiting room. A distance of 1.5m has been recommended.
  • One parent/carer per child to attend the waiting room and sessions. Please leave siblings and/or extended family at home.
  • Please arrive promptly. Your consultation will start and finish at certain times to decrease traffic in the waiting room. This may/may not mean that we discuss further appointments and/or payment before your session.
  • Please be aware that you may be admitted to a treatment room on arrival as part of our traffic management.
  • Should you arrive for your appointment early, we recommend you wait outside or in your car.
  • Avoid leaning on the reception desk. We frequently sanitise this space – but please be mindful of our reception staff and keeping a healthy distance.

We thank you for your understanding and commitment to ensuring a safe clinic environment for our patients & staff.

Updated: 18/03/2020

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COVID-19 Current changes to services and how we deliver them.

At Stepping Forward Therapy Services we take the health & safety of all our patients very seriously. In lieu of recent events regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) we are taking additional hygiene measures to limit risk to patients and staff.

This includes:

  • increasing the frequency of disinfecting common areas within the clinic,
  • limiting time in the waiting room
  • staggering appointments to limit exposure with other patients,
  • temporary removal of toys and equipment that is not easily sanitised, and
  • rescheduling of appointments in 14 days should a child or family member present unwell.
  • Our physios will offer phone support to existing patients and their families should they be unable to attend the clinic. (Fees may apply.)
  • All community visits, group programs and aquatic physiotherapy is cancelled until further notice.


What you can do, to minimise your risk and the risk to other patients:

  1. Do not attend the clinic if you or your child are unwell. Regardless if you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 and/or flu symptoms, your child would have reduced immunity, and it is better for them to be home resting. Please call the clinic to reschedule.
  2. Please reschedule your appointment if you have travelled overseas, been in close contact with someone that has travelled overseas, or been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days. This is in line with the most recent recommendations provided by Department of Health and Human Services.
  3. When attending your appointment, we are limiting family members to 1 parent/carer per child. We request that siblings and other family members do not come into the clinic. If this is not possible, please reschedule your appointment.
  4. We are trying to minimise your time in the waiting area, so we will be ensuring that your appointment starts and finishes on time. Should you arrive for your appointment early, we recommend you wait outside or in your car.


We thank you for your understanding and commitment to ensuring a safe clinic environment for our patients & staff. Over the coming weeks we will continue to monitor the situation closely and act quickly on the advice of health authorities. We appreciate your patience and your support as a client.

If you’re unsure, we ask that you return home and call the clinic to reschedule your appointment.

Ph: 03 9899 4004.


Stepping Forward Therapy Services are following the guidelines provided by the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services. Further information regarding COVID-19 can be found here:

Updated: 17/03/2020

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Swimming Liam

Aquatic Physiotherapy Swimming Liam

Has your physiotherapist suggested aquatic therapy/hydrotherapy?  Have you heard about aquatic therapy/hydrotherapy but are unsure if it is right for your child? Then read on…

What is it?

Aquatic Physiotherapy (previously known as hydrotherapy) is physiotherapy in water.  The properties of water are used to aid your child move in such a way as to improve their gross motor skills.  The warmth of the water can help reduce spasticity, the buoyancy of the water makes movement and balance easier, the density of the water can be used as resistance to build strength and so on.

Is it swimming lessons?

No.  Aquatic Physiotherapy is a range of different exercises in water that will help your child to develop strength, balance, co-ordination, core stability and more.  It may involve some activities similar to ones done in swimming lessons but the physiotherapist is not trying to teach your child to swim.

What can I expect?

The physiotherapist will assess your child initially in the clinic and determine whether aquatic therapy is right for your child.  If aquatic physiotherapy is suitable, the physiotherapist will work with you to set goals for your child to achieve.  The physiotherapist will then plan a program of activities in water that will help your child achieve their goals.   These activities often look like games!!

You can expect your aquatic physiotherapy program to be part of a larger therapy program.  Aquatic physiotherapy is an adjunct to therapy but is not used in isolation.aquatic physiotherapy 1

You can expect your child to have fun.

Where is hydrotherapy run?

Stepping Forward Therapy Services run Aquatic physiotherapy on alternate Thursday afternoons at two locations: Aquanation in Ringwood and Aqualink in Box Hill.

Who runs the Aquatic Therapy program?

Melanie Gibbs is a fully registered Physiotherapist with extensive experience in aquatic physiotherapy. She has trained with Dr Heather Epps in the UK and has provided Aquatic Therapy to children and teenagers over the past 20 years.    Her experience covers working with clients with mild to moderate physical difficulty right through to clients with profound disability.  Melanie loves using the water as a medium to provide physiotherapy and finds it to be a very successful medium in which to help clients achieve their goals.


aquatic physiotherapy 2Is my child eligible?

To attend Aquatic Physiotherapy, you will need a certificate from your GP, stating you are fit to attend. Being in the water puts increased pressure on your child’s body systems. It is important to get medical clearance, particularly if your child has any issues with their heart, lungs, blood pressure or kidneys. A land-based assessment by one of our physiotherapists is important in deciding if this program is right for your child.




 I still have questions….

If you would like more information please contact the clinic on 9899 4004 or speak to your physiotherapist at your next appointment.  

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Do I need to plan for my planning meeting?

Here at Stepping Forward, we are hearing from parents that the NDIS pathway to accessing funding for services can be tricky to navigate.

After you have put through an application for the NDIS, you will be advised that the next step is  your planning meeting.

During this meeting, your Planner will discuss your child’s and your family’s needs and current supports, and what supports you are requesting. This may apply for the next 12 months.

Our physiotherapists at Stepping Forward have often heard parents ask: “Do I need to plan for my planning meeting?”

The answer is yes!!

You are more likely to receive funding for services that meet your family and your child’s needs if you are able to specifically discuss what those needs are.

What do we mean?

To get ready for your planning meeting, here are some questions you should think about. This list isn’t exhaustive, and is more relevant for children who require additional physical needs.

Where are we now?

What does your child’s week look like, what does your family’s week look like? What works? What doesn’t work? Where do you need support?

What (paid) support are we currently using?

This may include therapy, care and/or assisted technology. You may feel that you are getting enough, or need more. You may be asked why do you need more? It is helpful to talk to your therapists, as they can provide you with written support.

What goals do you have in mind for the next 12 months?

Sometimes it helps to think about what your goals may be for the next few years. This can give your 12 month goal some perspective. Your goals should be functional, and age appropriate. Your therapist may be able to assist you in understanding your child’s developmental pathway. This can help you form acheivable goals.

What equipment will I need to help my child achieve their goals?

Consider the equipment you currently have. Will it still fit in 12 months? Will it meet my child’s needs in 12 months? Consider mobility (wheelchairs, walkers, orthotics), postures for function (special floor/table seating, standing frames), therapy (physio balls, rolls, therapy specific equipment), bathing and toileting ( commodes, shower chairs, bathing aides), hoists, communication aids, and other assistive technology that would help your child participate in activities which are reasonable and necessary for their age.

How will I manage my plan once I get it?

Currently, NDIS allow families to access their funding 3 ways. 1) Through the National Disability Insurance Agency (or the NDIS portal); 2) self-managed; or 3) through a financial intermediary. Each method of access has it’s pros and cons, and it’s important to think about what suits your situation. See the NDIS guide:


Hopefully this information has been helpful in getting ready for your plan. For more information, you can visit for information for Families and Carers, or for information on how to become a participant.

If you would like to find out more about how accessing our services under NDIS, please contact us on 9899 4004.

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Accessing the NDIS

How do I get connected with the NDIS? Should I make contact with the NDIS or will they contact me instead? What is the next step? 

To be able to access services under the NDIS for your child, here are some of the criteria that need to be met: 

Check availability in your area 

NDIS is rolling out in different stages around Victoria. You are may be eligible for access 6 months prior to NDIS rolling out in your area. For more information, visit 


Your child must meet residency requirements and must be residing in Australia. 

They have to hold an Australian Citizenship OR a Permanent Visa OR a Protected Special Category Visa.  


Your child may meet the disability requirements if they have an impairment or condition that is likely to be with them for life (permanent), and will require support under the NDIS. An example of an NDIS support would be if your child’s condition makes it impossible for them to walk from one end of their school to another, they may then require a wheelchair to help them travel between classes to ensure effective participation in school. NDIS can help with funding for a wheelchair for your child. 

If your child meets the NDIS access requirements, please contact NDIS on 1800 800 110 to request access to services. If your child is currently receiving government funded services, NDIS will make contact with you, depending on if NDIS rolls out in your area.  

At Stepping Forward Therapy Services, we are NDIS ready for the provision of physiotherapy services for your child. We are more than happy to answer any questions related to the NDIS or direct you to the appropriate resources. Call us on 9899 4004 to find out more about getting your child connected with physiotherapy services. 

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