Family Support Program provides supports for the child/children
with a disability as well as the whole family. Family Support assists
families whose needs are not being met by the current service system.
Families who access family support may require long-term assistance
or may simply need support to overcome a short-term crisis.
Aims of the Family Support Program
The aims of the Family Support Program are to:
- strengthen the capacity of families to care for their child/children
with a disability
- assist families to build formal and informal supports
- assist families to increase their knowledge, skills and confidence
- support the inclusion of children with a disability in community
- reduce family crises.
Principles of the Family Support Program
The Family Support Program is based on family centred
practice and uses an holistic approach to supporting families:
- respecting individual families' lifestyles, values and stated
priorities in caring for their child/children with a disability
- identifying and recognising families' strengths and parenting
- taking account of other factors not directly related to the
child's disability which impact upon family functioning
- considering and addressing the needs of other family members
- assisting families to identify and build a range of informal
supports around the whole family
- being responsive to family crises or immediate needs
- assisting families to plan and develop individualised, flexible
and responsive supports that can change over time as the families'
- tailoring supports to meet families' needs rather than supports
being driven by existing service types
How does the Family Support Program operate?
- assisting with short and long term planning
- Linking families to a range of informal and formal supports
- Providing personal support to families.
The relationship between the staff and the family is critical
to the success of the Program. This relationship is a partnership
based on trust, respect and open communication. The staff's role
is to empower families to identify their needs and assist families
to make key support decisions for their child/children and family,
and obtain the support they require.
There is a range of supports and services that might be accessed
in this program. In recognition of the diversity of families' needs
the program aims to support families in flexible and responsive
ways. The types of supports accessed should be in keeping with
the lifestyle of the family, their customs, traditions and cultural
The supports and services that a family may access include but
are not restricted to:
- In-home support and assistance
- Recreational options
- Information and training for families and care providers
- Specialist support and advice
- Support during school holidays and vacations
- Domestic home help
- Support for parents and siblings
- Support for social activities
While the Family Support Program aims to assist with demands associated
with caring for a child/children with a disability, it is not the
program's intent to provide income support to families.
Professional support staff work with families to achieve their
goals and provide flexible approaches to meet each family’s