Respite funding

It can be difficult to ask for help, but there are services, funding packages and support available for families of children with a disability and you deserve to access these services and receive assistance. Follow the links below to find the assistance you need.

Federal Government Funding Support

Australian Government Carer Support Services - Current programs, services and payments available to carers.

A National Carer Gateway

Regional respite and carer support
Regional Respite Centres can help you with information, carer support and respite co-ordination appropriate to your local area. Centres may also have funding that can be used to purchase short term or emergency respite when you need it.
Regional Carelink Centres can help you with local information to support independent living for people who are aged or have a disability and their carers. Freecall 1800 052 222 to be directed to the Carer Respite and Carelink Service in your area

Continence Assistance- Ph: 9816 8266

MyTime groups

Better Start for Children with a Disability - Early Intervention Funding - Ph: 1800 242 636

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Ph 1800 800 110

State or territory funding support

SWEP (State Wide Equipment Program) formerly Aids Equipment Program Ph 1300 74 7937

Home and Community Care (HACC)

Preschool inclusion packages

ECIS Flexible Support Packages are specifically designed to provide time-limited, individualised support to address a specific need(s) unable to be fully met by ECIS. Families with children eligible for ECIS may apply for an ECIS Flexible Support Package. The Victorian patient transport assistance scheme (VPTAS) subsidises the travel and commercial accommodation costs incurred by rural Victorians, who have no option but to travel a long distance to receive approved medical specialist services.

Disabled Persons Parking Scheme - Visit the Vicroads website for more information. Families of children with Down syndrome may be eligible for a Parking Permit under Category one, Code B. Alternatively if your child has mobility or chronic health issues, you may qualify under other categories.

Ambulance Victoria - Ambulance travel is free if you have a healthcare card or a pension card. Contact Ambulance Victoria on 1800 648 484 for more information

DHS Disability Services - information about Individual Support packages and the different types of supports available for families and carers of people with a disability

Concession schemes

Carer Card - The Victorian Government Card program has a wide range of discounts and benefits on offer from businesses, the local government and community organisations.

Companion Card - The Companion Card allows a companion of a person with a significant and permanent disability to attend community venues and activities ie. cinemas and travel on public transport for free as long as they are accompanying a person with a disability.

Concessions guide - A DHS list of concessions, benefits and assistance available to Victorians/carers

Centrelink assistance

Centrelink Disability & Carer's payments fact sheet

Carer Support Services

Centrelink Disability and Carer payment rates i.e. Carer AllowanceCarer Payment  and Healthcare Card - Ph 13 6150

Centrelink Carer Adjustment Payment - A possible one-off payment following a catastrophic event when a child under 7 years of age is diagnosed with a severe illness, medical condition or major disability.


Scope Communication Resource Centre - The Communication Resource Centre provides information, advice, resources and services relating to the many different aspects of communication disabilities. Ph (03) 9843 3000

Electronic Communication Devices Scheme - Comtec at Yoorallla Ph 9362 6154

Association for Children with a Disability publications Through the Maze and Learning to Lead help you navigate the services available

Victorian College of Optometry - Disabilities clinic provides optometry services to people with intellectual, physical, sensory and/or multiple disabilities. Queries - Mr Piers Carozzi Ph 03 9349 7400

Applying for financial support: tips from other parents, by Raising Children Network

Grants for carers returning to work

Victoriaworks for carers returning to work is a grant program to help carers meet the costs associated with retraining such as, books and materials, course fees, transport, childcare, and respite care etc. For more information visit the website or phone 1800 110 109.

The services that can provide you with respite and funding vary depending on what DHS region you live in.

If you are unsure of which DHS region you live click here fora a map of DHS regions.