Out of Home Care

Disability Respite

What is Respite?

Respite provides the families and unpaid carers of a child/young person with diagnosed disability with planned, short-term, time-limited breaks from their usual caring role. 

Respite services aim to provide a positive experience for both the carer and the person with disability.  Disability respite also aims to met the National Standards for Disability services such as social inclusion, community participation and engagement.

The families/carers resume care at the end of the respite period.

Who is Eligible?

In order to be eligible for disability respite with NT Friendship and Support the individual must have an NDIS plan with funding for ‘Short Term Accommodation’ OR:

  • Live in the Northern Territory and be an Australian Citizen
  • Have a disability as defined in the NT Disability Services Act, 2012
  • Be Aged between 0-18 years and not be receiving respite support from other states, territories, or the NDIS

Most children from the Katherine community are eligible for up to 4 weeks of respite a year and children/young people from remote communities are eligible for 6 weeks per year. This can be used in a range of ways from an overnight respite, weekend respite or a week or two if the carer requires a longer break.

Types of respite

Our Respite Brochure provides more details about the different types of respite on offer, but there are three main types:

Host Family Respite: this type of respite is where the person with disability spends time in the home of a local host family who has been carefully matched with the interests and background of the individual and their family. These carers also receive training and support to ensure they provide high quality, safe care.

Flexible Respite: this is provided in a range of settings and uses a mix of service types, including with a local host family and / or in the community settings through day outings, social or recreation activities.

Emergency Respite: sometimes, unforeseen events such as an illness, hospitalisation or a death in the family can create an urgent need for respite.  Emergency and crisis short-term respite care may be available to help families and carers with unplanned or emergency situations.

We cannot always quarantine availability of suitable carers especially at short-notice and preference may be given based on a priority assessment.

Respite services cannot provide long-term accommodation.

What happens in respite care?

Our carers are local families that have been matched to meet the needs of the child in care.  Our carers do a range of activities with the children that are staying with them including swimming, cooking, sports, reading, meals out, playing, excursions, community events, and any other usual routine that needs to continue such as physio exercises or medication.

We ask the parents to help us provide important information to the carer regarding the child/young person to help maintain the child/young person’s normal routine including eating, sleeping and toileting for example. 

What can you expect from NT Friendship and Support?

  • Person/ Family- Centred individualised Respite Planning.
  • Coordination of Respite services, including liaison with schools, medical providers and allied health professionals as necessary.
  • Refer to other services and supports as necessary.
  • Community engagement activities and increased community awareness of disability services.
  • Comprehensive carer screening including home inspection, police check, ochre card, reference checks and family interviews.
  • Ongoing carer training including medication, seizure management, first aid etc.
  • 24 hour support for carers and recipient families.