Go to top of page

Diabetes health support for children and young people

Information on how education and care services provide proactive and reactive management for children and young people with diabetes. 

Health support for diabetes

The Department of Social Services lists diabetes as a medical condition that is a recognised disability.  Education and care services have a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments for children with diabetes to enable them to participate in their education on the same basis as their peers.

As insulin administration is invasive and complex requiring informed decision making and individual assessment on a daily basis it is outside the enterprise agreement for education and care staff to administer.  A person supporting a child that requires insulin administration must be competency trained under a delegated care model to ensure insulin is administered legally and safely.

A child or young person with diabetes cannot be excluded or withdrawn from education and care service or offsite education related activities including camps and excursions. 

Action and management plans

All children and young people with Type 1 Diabetes must have a Diabetes Action and Management plan and an insulin medication agreement HSP331 (DOC 165KB) in place to ensure that their health care needs can be met.

The action and management plans below have been developed by Diabetes Victoria, together with Monash Children’s Hospital, Royal Children’s Hospital and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The plans are based on current best practice paediatric guidelines and are reviewed annually. The plans are completed by the diabetes treating team, in consultation with the young person and their family.

These plans can be used in government, Catholic and independent sectors and are the preferred plans for use in South Australia.

There are versions for the school setting or early learning setting (kindergarten, pre-school, childcare).

Primary and secondary school setting:

Early childhood (EC) setting: 

Insulin medication agreement


Health support agreement

Where a child or young person has type 1 diabetes a health support agreement HSP120 (DOC 243KB) and safety and risk management plan HSP121 (DOC 147KB) should be completed.  These are completed by the parent and education or care service to document specific risk minimisation strategies, individualised management and treatment for the child in the context of the education or care service. 

The guide to planning health support – HSP125 can assist in the development of the health support agreement by prompting through a series of questions and considerations. 

The Health Support Agreement should clearly identify cultural, spiritual and language needs.

First aid

All education and care staff are required to provide first aid measures following any care plan or support agreement and contacting emergency services if required.

The diabetes action plan that has been developed for the child provides first aid instructions in the event of low blood sugar Hypoglycaemia (Hypo) and high blood sugar Hyperglycaemia (Hyper). 

Individual first aid plan

An individual first aid plan HSP124 (DOC 167KB) is completed by the health professional where the first aid response is NOT the standard first aid response for that health condition.

Managing diabetes in education and care

With appropriate planning and support children can participate safely and fully in education and care activities.

To support children with diabetes education and care services may be required to
•    provide trained staff to supervise or assist children with diabetes management ie insulin administration, checking blood glucose levels (BGL), insulin pump management
•    make special considerations during exams and tests
•    make special considerations when planning sport, excursions, camps and other activities
•    allow access to water for drinking (due to increased thirst)
•    allow students to eat at additional times in class or during sport to treat low BGLs 
•    allow extra toilet access
•    provide special consideration for privacy when testing BGLs and/or injecting insulin (as requested)

Training and education

Where a child or young person with type 1 diabetes attends an education or care service the department recommends all staff complete the three 5 minute Diabetes at School online self-directed learning modules developed by Diabetes Victoria. The online training will support staff to understand type 1 diabetes, how it impacts day to day life, how to respond appropriately to hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia and information about diabetes management and action plans. 

Staff must be appropriately trained to support children to administer or aid in the administration of insulin. Diabetes management is not the same for each child. Training and support must be individualised to each child and the specific requirements documented in the diabetes action and management plans for that child.

Diabetes SA provides education sessions for education and care services on ‘Management and Care of Diabetes in Schools’ a 3.5 hour education session presented by Credentialled Diabetes Educators and staff from the Women's and Children's Hospital. The session explores how education and care staff can become more confident in supporting and facilitating the day to day school experience of children with type 1 diabetes in their care; including identification of the signs and symptoms, and management of hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia incidents.  

Diabetes SA Guest Speakers can also provide a presentation at education and care services that are tailored to meet individual needs.  For more information, or to book a guest speaker, email info [at] diabetessa.com.au.

The Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) provide Diabetes Awareness and Emergency Medications for Seizures education.  For training enquiries contact RNDS 
•    phone 1300 364 264
•    email bookings.disabilities [at] rdns.org.au

The Women’s and Children’s Hospital Endocrinology and Diabetes department may be able to provide advice and assistance through Diabetes Nurse Educators
•    phone (08) 8161 6402

The Country Health SA Local Health Network Diabetes Service may be able to assist to provide advice and assistance to support children in rural and remote areas.  Further information and local area contact information can be accessed via the CHSA Diabetes Service Rural Directory.

Nadine Harrison is a Credentialed Diabetes Educator that can provide diabetes education at the education and care service.  
•    phone 0422 250 635
•    email targetdiabetes [at] yahoo.com.au

The NDSS (National Diabetes Services Scheme) has developed ‘Mastering Diabetes in Preschools and Schools’, a resource to help teachers and families support children with type 1 diabetes in education and care services; and in building strong communications between families and schools, and the responsibilities of education and care staff.


Care plans

Primary and secondary school setting:

Early childhood (EC) setting: 

Health support agreement

First aid 

HSP124 Individual first aid plan (DOC 190KB)

Planning and management tools



Disability and Complex Needs Team

Phone: 8226 0515
Email: education.health [at] sa.gov.au