If you are the parent or care giver of a child or adult with a disability, caring for yourself may be low on your list of priorities. You may feel that taking time out for yourself is a luxury but you can not look after your family if you are run down, depressed or overworked.

A study done by the Family Counselling and Pastoral Care Service found that all resilient mothers that participated in the study consciously attempted to take care of themselves by recognising their needs and doing something about them.

If you are a parent or caregiver you can benefit yourself and everybody around you by taking a break. Below is some information on respite options available to help you.

In home respite

A paid worker provides assistance and support to a person with a disability in their own home. Local councils and shires provide a range of child and family services including Home and Community Care (HACC).

Emergency respite

Annecto can provide an emergency after-hours response service (EARS) 24/7 short term personal care, respite, crisis management, telephone support and in-home support.

Host Carers (Family matching)

This type of program recruits volunteer host carers and matches them to a child with a disability. The host cares for the child on a regular basis, ideally one weekend a month, in their own home, although arrangements can be flexible. See Interchange | Extended Families | FamilyCare

Outside of school programs | Teens

Outside School Hours Care for Teenagers with a Disability is an Australian Government initiative providing students with disability, aged 12 to 18 years old with quality outside school hours care, including before school, after school and holiday care.

Flexible respite/brokerage

Flexible Care Programs provide people with disabilities and their families access to respite care within the family home or out and about in the community. 'Brokerage' is often available to pay for this type of respite. see the funding options.

Holidays and vacation care

During holiday periods service providers often provide additional recreational programs for children/adults with a disability.

Recreational options

Recreational programs offer a fun experience for people with a disability, while also providing parents and carers with a break. See out Sport and recreation page.

Out of school hours programs

After school care and school holiday programs, additional recreational programs and camps are available for children with a disability. Mainstream out of school hours programs receive assistance from Inclusion Support Programs.

Family retreat opportunities

There are a number of houses available that offer short-term holiday respite for carers (and their families) who support people with a disability. These houses often provide a great opportunity for one or more families to go away together.