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Links to disability


Francesca is a young adult with intellectual disability and acquired brain injury. She is anxious about lifts and loud noises. She lives with her parents and is very reliant on them. She has certain obsessive compulsive traits such as washing her hands repeatedly and making repeated calls to emergency services when stressed or anxious.

Francesa's parents decided to leave her with a respite carer in the family home while they attended a family wedding in Perth. Francesca would not have coped well with an unfamiliar environment and her parents needed a break.

Francesca was upset about her parents' departure and became highly anxious. The home phone was generally kept locked because of Francesca's history. The respite carer did not stick to the plan about the telephone and Francesca used the phone to make several false reports to emergency services including one to the fire brigade about her neighbour's house being on fire.

In addition to being charged in relation to the nuisance calls, Francesca was also charged with three counts of assaulting police.

Submissions in support of the application focused on the link between Francesca's disability and the charges, the subjective circumstances of Francesca and her family, the potential adverse affects of incarceration, an explanation of the phone protocol and further assistance for the family from ADHCAgeing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC)
ADHC is the main agency that provides services to people with intellectual disability in NSW.
ADHC Contact details:
with behaviour management strategies. The application was successful.

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