Engage-In project

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Engage-In aims to break down the barriers people with disability and psychosocial disability face when they try to access services while living in institutional settings.

Engage-In assists people with disability, including psychosocial disability, across NSW to access services and supports prior to their release into the community.

We do this by partnering with a variety of stakeholders and service providers that can provide non-legal, trauma-informed advocacy support to people who live in institutional or closed settings, like prisons, hospitals and long stay mental health facilities.

Engage-In aims to empower and support people to live their best lives in the community. Our research suggests community-based support reduces recidivism rates and a return to institutional settings. The University of Sydney has produced a research report to document the work of Engage-In.

What can Engage-In help with?

  • Trauma informed service advocacy 
  • NDIS access requests 
  • Liaise with stakeholders  
  • Non- legal support and referrals  
  • Information  
  • Disability rights 
  • Issues with accessibility in institutions

Who is eligible? 

  • Anyone who lives in an institutional setting with a psychosocial disability.  
  • No formal diagnosis is required. 
  • You do not need to be a NDIS participant.
  • NSW wide service. 

Our service is free, independent and confidential.

Get Help or Make a Referral

Please note, a formal referral is not required to access PWDA Engage-In advocacy.

  • Complete the form below or contact us by email engagein@pwd.org.au or phone (toll free) 1800 422 015.
  • Family and legal representatives can make a referral.

Peer-led discussion, consultation, and practice

Peer workers (people with experience of psychosocial disability who form the Engage-In Project Advisory Group) have collaborated with PWDA project officers to access and support consumers/survivors in closed settings.

Drawing upon these insights, a community of practice worked on solutions to the structural and cultural barriers advocates face in making connections with people in closed settings.


An action research framework has been co-designed by the Project Advisory Group and the University of Sydney Faculty of Education and Social Work to develop a desired practice model for working with people with psychosocial disability. 

This desired practice model has informed a training program, run by people with experience of psychosocial disability, for staff at PWDA. We envisage that this program will be replicated by other services striving to revitalise their practice.

The University of Sydney partnership has also produced a research report to document the work of Engage-In.

Engaging confidently with psychosocial disability

Engage-In has developed a training module with practical tools to equip you and guide you in your interactions with colleagues or clients who experience psychosocial disability. The training can be delivered as a one day or two half-day workshops and is designed for all workers from frontline to executive level, in any sector or industry. For more information, please call 1800 422 015 (toll free) or email training@pwd.org.au

How to get help

To understand how we can best help, we need to learn more about you, your situation as well as the issue you’re experiencing.

  • Phone: 1800 422 015 (toll free) and speak to one of our intake officers.
  • Fill out our online Advocacy request form or using the button below.

Once we have your information, we’ll then be able to provide the most appropriate assistance we can. An intake officer will be in contact with you via your preferred method once they have reviewed your information.

Blue background with an icon of a finger clicking. Text reads ' Click here to get help'.
Blue background with an icon of a finger clicking. Text reads ' Click here to get help'.

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