For Carers and Families: Practical Support
Caring for a child with disability is a uniquely rewarding experience. However, it is not without challenges. There are the additional care and support needs, planning, scheduling and advocacy, all while figuring out how to navigate complex systems for your child.
In this resource, we’ve compiled practical supports that may be able to assist you as a carer. From carer-specific services to programs that your family may be able to take advantage of, to help lighten the load.
Carer Specific Services
Emergency Respite, Carers Gateway
If you become sick or injured and can’t continue to care for your loved one, you can call Carer Gateway for help with accessing emergency respite on 1800 422 737 at any time.
Tailored Support Packages, Carers Gateway
Designed to provide you with services and support specific to your needs as a carer. This may include, for instance, someone to help you with your additional caring responsibilities such as cleaning, grocery shopping or planned respite. Or equipment to help you with education or training.
Counselling and Coaching, Carers Gateway
Providing one-on-one and group counselling both face-to-face and via telehealth. As well as in-person coaching, which is about taking time out to think about your own well-being and consider how you can find space in your life to balance your needs and the needs of the people you care for.
Peer Support Groups, MyTime
Peer support groups are run by a trained facilitator both in person and online for parents and carers raising children with disability. Preschool-aged children are welcome to attend in-person groups where a play leader will be on hand to engage in play.
Information and Resources, Carers NSW
Provides information, education and training, resources and referrals to support carers to improve their health, wellbeing, resilience and financial security. If you reside outside of NSW, check your state
Services For Siblings and Young Carers
Provides information and resources as well as peer support for siblings of children and people with disability.
Young Carers NSW
Provides information, referrals, support, counselling and leadership opportunities for people under 25 who care for a friend or loved one.
Little Dreamers offers a wide range of support programs that cater to young carers aged 4-25 years around Australia. From creating a dream experience for younger carers in recognition of their important role, to holiday programs, tutoring, online peer support, and personal development and mentoring programs for older carers. Services differ by state.
Mental Health and Counselling Support for Families
A free telephone counselling and support service for parents and carers with children aged 0 to 18 who live in NSW. Qualified counsellors can provide support on any issues to do with parenting, from questions about child development to understanding and responding to your child’s behaviour.
Providing counselling, mediation, group workshops and an online information hub. Fees for service are determined based on your income. No one is turned away because of an inability to pay.
Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private, and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
Providing free support to young people (aged 12 to 25 years old) with mental health, physical health (including sexual health), alcohol and other drug services, as well as work and study support. Services are provided face-to-face across Australia, you can also chat privately with professional counsellors over the phone or webchat, seven days a week between 9am – 1am (AEDT).
Mental Health Care Plan (MHCP), Services Australia
A treatment plan that lets you claim up to 10 sessions each calendar year with a mental health professional. If your health professional decides you’re eligible, you can have an extra 10 group sessions. Health professionals set their own fees – if they bulk bill, you won’t have to pay anything, but if they charge a fee, only some of the costs are covered.
Ask your GP for more information.
Support For Families Experiencing Financial Hardship
National Debt Helpline
A not-for-profit service that helps people tackle their debt problems. Professional financial counsellors offer a free, independent and confidential service and are able to put you in touch with other services you may require, such as legal services, crisis food and accommodation services, and health services.
Food Assistance, Anglicare
If you are struggling with the rising cost of living Anglicare may be able to help with the cost of food. From affordable food in local community pantries to providing emergency food parcels.
St Vincent De Paul Society
Providing people in immediate crisis with food, clothing, and other everyday essentials, help with bills, and referrals as needed to other helpful services. If you reside outside of NSW, you can search for services in your state.
PlumbAssist, Service NSW
If you’re unable to afford essential plumbing repairs, you may be eligible for free plumbing. Sydney Water’s PlumbAssist service helps people experiencing financial difficulties deal with issues such as repairing or replacing leaking or broken toilets, taps, showerheads and pipes and finding and repairing hidden leaks.
To learn more about the Financial Supports available to Carers and Families, visit our resource