Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Supporting carers of children and teenagers with disability

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

The Gillard Government is continuing to deliver support to carers of children and teenagers with disability through the popular MyTime and Outside School Hours Care for Teenagers programs.

The Government is providing $10.5 million to 2013 to continue support for 262 MyTime peer support groups across the country. Almost 4,000 parents and carers attended MyTime support groups in 2009-10.

The Government is also expanding the age group for MyTime support groups – parents and carers of children with disability up to 16 years old will now be able to attend the groups. Previously the MyTime program focused its support on families of children under six years of age.

Under the MyTime program parents can attend up to 26 fortnightly facilitated sessions a year, where they are able to take time out to talk to others about caring for a child with disability.

A play helper looks after the children while the parents and carers meet to share experiences and receive information about support services and coping strategies.

We are also providing $17 million over three years to continue funding for over 1,000 students aged 12 to 18 years old with disability to access outside school hours care for teenagers in 64 locations across Australia.

Outside school hours care, either before or after school or during school holidays, gives teenagers with disability the opportunity to participate in fun activities such as cooking classes, shopping trips, swimming, bowling and horse riding.

It also gives parents and carers a break from their caring responsibilities so they can participate in the workforce or in community activities.

Traditional before and after school care services generally cater for primary aged children, leaving parents and carers of teenagers with disability without appropriate care options.

We know that parents and carers of children and teenagers with disability experience stress and social isolation due to the intensity of their caring role. Carers may also struggle to balance their work and caring responsibilities.

It is essential that these families have access to specialist support in their local community.

The Gillard Government is committed to delivering a range of support to people with disability and their families.

For more information about the MyTime Peer Support program visit: or call 1800 889 997.

For more information about the Outside School Hours Carer for Teenagers program visit:

Organisations receiving funding for Outside School Hours Care for Teenagers with Disability are listed in the table below:

State or Territory Organisation Name Funding to 30 June 2013 (GST exclusive)
ACT Marymead Child and Family Centre $455,261
NSW Anglicare $455,261
NSW Ballina District Community Services Association $531,138
NSW Challenge Disability Services $303,508
NSW Creating Links Cooperative Ltd $242,806
NSW Interchange Respite Care Inc $303,508
NSW Eastern Respite & Recreation $1,001,195
NSW Family Resource and Network Support $565,183
NSW Giant Steps Sydney $369,672
NSW Illawarra Disability Trust $789,120
NSW Inverell Disability & Respite Services $376,349
NSW Minimbah Challenge $148,719
NSW The Northcott Society $898,434
NSW Northern Beaches Interchange Inc $342,487
NSW Sylvanvale Foundation $395,376
NSW Tweed Shire Vacation Care $242,806
NT Henbury School Council $835,799
NT Nemarluk School $492,896
QLD Darling Point Special School $570,755
QLD Focal Extended $394,560
QLD FSG Australia $529,863
QLD Lifeline Community Care Qld $1,263,754
QLD Suncare Community Services $554,527
SA Elizabeth Special School $440,086
SA Novita Children’s Services Inc $678,412
TAS Ability Tasmania Group Inc $36,421
TAS Cosmos Inc $567,043
VIC Marillac – Casey Kidz Klub $215,490
VIC Community Living and Respite Services $338,866
VIC Echuca Holiday & After School Care Program $60,183
VIC Monash Special Developmental School $82,864
VIC Pinarc Support Services $546,314
VIC Villa Maria Society $799,751
VIC YMCA of Ballarat Inc $455,261
WA Children’s Hospital Child Care Centre $523,702
WA Community Vision $554,508
Total $17,361,877