Family Support Funding Program (FSFP)
The Family Support Funding Program aims to enhance the lives of Defence Families. The DCO is responsible for the management and administration of this program. Grants are available to:
- Defence families interested in joining together to develop a project or a program (ie. DSNSG)
- Existing groups in the community composed of, or benefiting, Defence families.
APS Benefits offer a grant to assist their members who have special needs. They do not deal directly with the family, but go through a third party. Contact the DSNSG National Coordinator for more details and an application form.
Variety Club, Lions Club, Rotary and Philanthropic Trusts may also be able to assist in certain circumstances.
State and Territory Equipment Schemes
In each State / Territory there is an equipment scheme which provides aids, appliances and equipment for people with disabilities to maintain their independence in the community. These schemes are all called by different names, for example: Program of Appliances for Disabled People (PADP) in NSW and Victoria and Independent Living Equipment Program (ILEP) in South Australia.
Differing eligibility criteria applies as do waiting lists which can vary not only from State to State, but also from region to region. Most of the schemes provide equipment on long term loan, free of charge; however, some States / Territories require a non-refundable contribution and are means-tested.
Please check with the Defence Special Needs Support Group National Coordinator for the most up-to-date information or the service provider, Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist to which you are linked.
Note: Equipment / Aids on loan from these schemes may be taken interstate, under an agreement by the Disability Services Sub-Committee 1995. However, it is your responsibility to arrange the return of such equipment when it is no longer required.
You may also be able to obtain equipment / aids through your local hospital or health service and through Service providers such as the Spastic Society and similar organisations.
You may also be eligible to obtain assistance towards the purchase of equipment from various organisations eg Variety Club or other Charitable organisations, Philanthropic Trusts, Rotary, Lions and also, for members, APS Benefits.
In NSW interest free loans for aids and appliances may be given through the Government Insurance Office (GIO) to those people with disabilities who are working.
A wide range of products, free of sales tax, may be purchased by people with disabilities. For further information contact your local office of the Australian Taxation Office.
Independent Living Centres
Independent Living Centres are located in most States / Territories and provide an Information and Advisory Service on all commercially available products which may help people to be as independent as possible in their home environment. You can visit the Centre to try out the product to see if it is suitable for your needs.
Some Independent Living Centres also have a scheme whereby you can hire equipment items for a short duration and try them out in your own home.
Technical Aid to the Disabled (TAD)
TAD volunteer engineers and technicians make custom designed aids and equipment, as well as modifying existing commercially available items to suit individual needs. TAD offices are located around Australia.
Looking after someone with special needs is exhausting. You may want help with certain tasks or need some time off once in awhile.
Many Councils around Australia employ someone who provides assistance and information for people with a disability.
Home and Community Care
You may be eligible for assistance through the Home and Community Care (HACC) program which provides a number of services to assist frail aged people, people with disabilities and their carers. A nominal fee sometimes applies. These services can include:
- personal care,
- community nursing, and
- community transport
HACC programs can be provided through local community based agencies and State Government services. Check with your local Council to see if they provide HACC services.
There are often long waiting lists to receive these services, especially respite, so if you are posted, please make contact and register your name early.
Respite care is care given to a person with a disability / special needs to allow the primary carer to have some time-out from their normal caring duties. Respite care may be used for a couple of hours a day, evenings or weekends, overnight, over a few weeks and in certain circumstances, for longer periods of time.
There are many types of respite services available. Respite services may differ in the location in which the respite is to be provided, the cost, the number of hours allocated, the eligibility criteria and waiting list time. Respite care can be provided in the following settings:
- in your own home (Home Respite Care);
- with another family (Interchange);
- residential settings within the community Centre Based Respite Care)
Often ADF Families with Special Needs don’t have any extended family located nearby to offer support and assistance. It may be difficult to find someone suitable to look after the child or adult who has the special needs. If you feel you would benefit from respite care, please contact the community services department at your local council or contact the Carer Respite Centre in your area.
The Carer Respite Centre provides information on current respite services which carers can access. You will find one in every State and Territory or ring 1800 242 636 for more information.
Attendant Care involves the provision of general assistance with everyday life needs so that the person with the disability / special needs can live independently in the community.
Various organisations provide Attendant Care. They may vary from non-profit organisations to those which are privately run and who operate for profit.
Funding for people using Attendant Care comes from a number of different sources, including the Department of Health and Community Services, Transport Accident Commission, Workers Compensation and the Supreme Court. Eligibility criteria applies and fees may be charged.
The tasks involved in Attendant Care may vary from agency to agency, but may include:
- Personal Care
- Home Help
- Personal Administration
- Social / Recreational / Leisure Support
- Other Tasks
If you have a child who has special needs you may wish to use formal child care services or before and after school care as a form of respite.
There are a number of initiatives which assist families to place their special needs child into child care settings. In addition to the Childcare Assistance and the Childcare Rebate, extra support is provided through the following schemes:
- Special Needs Subsidy Scheme
- Supplementary Services Program
To discuss your child care needs call the Child Care Access Hotline on 1800 670 305.
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