The Host Program co-ordinates voluntary support to families. The aim is to ensure a regular break for families, by sharing the care of the child with a disability, with a matched volunteer. The volunteer/s or volunteer families provide respite by supporting the child, either in their home or in the community, on a regular basis. The agreed support can be a regular few hours, overnight or weekends.
Becoming a host is a rewarding experience. Hosts need to be over 18 years of age. They may be single, living with a partner, with or without children. Hosts undergo a police check and must obtain a working with children check.
The development of the host match is supported by the Interchange Inner East Host Coordinator.
It is very normal to have some anxiety, reservations and possibly guilt when you decide to access respite for your family through the Host Program. We encourage you to explore these feelings with either the Host Program Co-ordinator or other respite program staff.
The match is carefully placed to meet mutual needs of the child, the child’s natural family and the host family. If the program in which your child is involved is not successful, the situation will be reviewed with possible strategies and solutions explored and agreed upon in consultation with all parties.
There is never any pressure to continue or sustain an unsatisfactory match. You will be offered support and debriefing if this situation arises. It is acknowledged that family circumstances are constantly changing and individual needs are always catered for.
Hosting program costs:
- no costs incurred for family
- minimal volunteer reimbursement contribution for HOST families
If you are looking to become a host:
- Contact Interchange Host Program Coordinator ph 98369811
- An interview will then be organised to discuss your needs and interests and suitability to become a host.
- You will then need to undergo a risk assessment in your home and are required to meet eligibility criteria.