What is Respite Support?

Respite Support is designed to provide short-term breaks for carers, whilst providing a positive experience for the disabled person.

A respite service provides a safe alternative environment for a disabled person, with support staff who can meet the person’s disability needs. Respite support is in general designed to be:

  • of a short-term duration and intermittent
  • a positive, stimulating and worthwhile experience
  • available in community settings
  • part of the support network available to a person and their carers/family/whanau
  • accessed when a carer or family/whanau member requires a short-term break from their normal support/care role.

See the Transforming Respite strategy (2017 – 2022): Ministry of Health website»

How does a person get Respite Support?

An assessment by a Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC) agency is completed to determine whether a person meets the eligibility criteria for disability support services. The needs of the disabled person are identified, the amount of respite support is determined, and support is provided to help those involved to find a suitable respite service.

Use of respite support may be planned so that it is used on a regular basis for a prearranged time, for example, overnight once a week or every third weekend. Respite support may also be unplanned and is available in times of emergency or unforeseen event. The Ministry of Health funds a Respite Coordinator within Taikura Trust to ensure responsive and timely access across the region. Below is a list of organisations that provide respite. Please let us know if you are aware of other options.

CCS Disability Action»

CCS Disability Action no longer has respite homes in Auckland but may be able to put you in touch with people who provide respite in their home.

Eastgate Community Trust»

Eastgate operate a transitional/respite service in the Bucklands Beach area. They offer respite to young adults (18yrs +) with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. The house is open five nights during the week, 4.00pm until 9.00am and all weekend. There is a ratio of one staff member to up to three clients. A carer support allocation is charged per night. Opportunities are provided for clients to extend their life skills in a supported flatting situation.

NZCare Group»

A division of Healthcare New Zealand Ltd for respite services in the Auckland area. Priority is given to people aged between 16 and 30 years with autism/intellectual disability or a physical disability. Out of home respite services for people with intellectual disability and Autism are available in Henderson, New Lynn and Weymouth, and a further respite service in Flat Bush.

Referrals for Auckland respite services are achieved by contacting the NASC agency Taikura Trust who will complete a needs assessment, allocate respite days and then place a referral to NZCare.

Open Home Foundation»

A family-based respite service providing respite care for children aged 5-20 years old with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and/or an intellectual disability. To be referred to their Oasis Respite Service, please contact your local NASC office. Phone (09) 634 2057 or email: auckland@ohf.org.nz

Spectrum Care»

Providing respite care for children and young people between five and 16 years of age who have a disability and/or challenging behaviour. Support is rostered, and the focus is on providing both a ‘home away from home’ for the individual and ‘time out’ for the family/whanau. They employ a person-centred framework, encourage ongoing involvement of family/whanau, and value the knowledge, preferences and cultural perspectives of family/whanau.

It is important that children and young people accessing respite are appropriately engaged and there are choices available. Activities are tailored to each person’s preferences and goals, enhancing skills and increasing independence. The activities are structured and put on an Activity Plan, so everyone is aware of what is going to happen and when. Each house has a dedicated van available for outings and community events, such as to the museum, mall, park, zoo, beach, public transport, socials and picnics. Phone (09) 634 3790 to find out more about their Child, Youth and Respite support.