Work & Development Orders (WDOs) help vulnerable young people clear unpaid fines with approved activities instead of money.

The WDO Scheme enables eligible people to clear up to $1000 a month from their fines by participating in mental health or drug and alcohol treatment, counselling or life skills courses. 

Work Development Orders (WDO)


Life Psychologists can provide psychological services to individuals who are entitled to a Work Development Order (WDO).

The Work Development Order (WDO) Scheme is a NSW government initiative that allows vulnerable people to clear outstanding fines (penalty notice and court fines) with activities or treatment rather than money.

WDOs are supervised by organisations or health practitioners called WDO sponsors. They have special approval from the NSW government to supervise WDOs.

Life Psychologists is an approved WDO Sponsor in NSW.

NSW Department of Communities & Justice

NSW Revenue SDRO

Legal Aid NSW

Revenue NSW, Legal Aid NSW and the Department of Justice deliver the WDO scheme. Participation in a WDO is voluntary.


A person is eligible to participate in the scheme if they are homeless, have a mental illness, intellectual disability, cognitive impairment, serious addiction to drugs or alcohol, or are in acute financial hardship (i.e. on a Centrelink benefit).

WDOs are supervised by WDO sponsors. They can be a government or non-government organisation, health service, psychologist, doctor or nurse.

Any enforcement action that has been taken against you for unpaid fines such asrestrictions on your licence, will be lifted when your WDO starts.

Can I get a WDO?

If you tick one or more of these boxes, you could be eligible for a WDO:

I get a Centrelink benefit 
I am in financial hardship 
I am homeless or living in temporary accommodation 
I have an addiction to drugs, alcohol or other substances 
I have a mental illness 
I have an intellectual disability 
I have cognitive impairment (such as autism, brain injury ordementia) 
I am under 18 years of age 


The WDO Scheme enables eligible people to clear up to $1000 a month from their fines by participating in medical, mental health or drug and alcohol treatment, counselling (including case management), financial counselling, vocational, educational or life skills courses, or voluntary work.


Being able to pay off a fine, whether through financial means or by use of a WDO is a relief when it’s done.

Assisting young people in care and care leavers to pay their fine is likely to promote self esteem and self-efficiency, reduce stress, reduce reoffending, increase life skills and address factors that made it hard to manage debts.

It can also reduce the risk of being unable to apply for a driver’s licence and help their mental and physical health by dealing appropriately with serious disorders or addictions (for example by attending a drug and alcohol treatment program).

Overdue fees can build quickly and without being aware of it, a small fine can easily turn into a large fine if left unpaid.


– Mental health treatment

Mental health treatment must be undertaken in accordance with a health practitioner’s treatment plan (may encompass face-to-face sessions with a psychologist).

  • Mental health treatment
  • Medical review
  • Disability case management
  • Counselling (e.g. addiction, gambling disorders)
  • Not available: Medication, Drug Rehabilitation and Community Services activities.

$1000 a month for full compliance with treatment plan

– Drug and alcohol treatment

Drug or alcohol treatment aims to assist people to overcome dependencies on, or misuse of, alcohol and/or other drugs.

  • Treatment program
  • Counselling, therapy related to drug and alcohol issues
  • Not available: Medication
  • SMART recovery

$1000 a month for full compliance with treatment plan


Call Life Psychologists on 1300 084 200 or email us [email protected] to discuss your requirements and make an initial appointment.

Please note that clients will need to organise funding for their WDO program. However, rebates are available under the Medicare or PMHC schemes. See Fees & Rebates for details.

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