The NDIS recognises that families provide invaluable support to family members with disability, and that it is important for parents and family members to maintain wellbeing in order to continue their caring role.
Indirect benefit to parents occurs when your child is receiving supports or services funded by the NDIS, so you are not providing those supports yourself, and your time is freed up to do other things. This is how you can achieve a RESPITE OUTCOME. There is no item called ‘respite’ in the NDIS Price Guide.
The supports your child receives must be linked to an outcome and goal.
Here are some examples of supports and the relevant NDIS outcomes, which will allow you to have respite during that time:
A support worker could
- Take your child to the park, (Social and Community Participation)
- Teach your child to cook at home (Improved Daily Living skills)
So the child is being supported towards a goal, while the parent has a break from supporting the child themselves.
Child has stay in a centre or group residence for a short period – can be funded under ‘Short Term Accommodation and Assistance’
Camps and vacation activities – can be funded under ‘Social and Community Participation’
So again the child is away overnight in a group residence or camp, working towards their daily living or social and community participation goals, while the parent is able to have an overnight break.
In other words you can have a break while your child is occupied in a goal related activity. You can see all the support categories in the yellow column of this table. This is a key document for framing all your child’s goals in terms of these categories, with respite being a possible side benefit.
There are three direct benefits that the NDIS will fund that are specifically for parents or carers. These items can be used for parents to gain knowledge or skills which will benefit their child. These items include:
- ‘Training for carers/parents’
- ‘Transition through school and to further education’
- ‘Training in planning and plan management’
Apart from understanding that you can have respite while your child is occupied with an NDIS funded support, how can you make the NDIS aware of your needs as a carer?
As a carer, you have the option to submit a Carer Statement and/or request a separate interview to support the person you care for. This might include:
- How the caring role affects you
- Whether you are willing and able to keep caring for the person with disability in the same way into the future – this might become more relevant as you get older
- The impact of your caring role on your own personal needs, goals and health (for example – work, study, travel, social cultural or religious activities).
A Carer Statement may add insight, for instance, into your wellbeing and the toll that caring is having on you and your family, a family illness, family separation, or any other changes which will impact on the informal support the family provides, or the person’s living environment. It is also good to think about the sustainability of your caring role, and how that might change.