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When we fund social and recreation supports we think about the different supports family, friends and the community would provide at different ages and stages in your life.
For example, we would expect parents to help their children get to and from social and recreation activities. But we don’t expect parents to provide help for adults getting to and from social and recreation activities. This is because parents aren’t usually expected to provide this level of help for their adult children.
What about children?
We’ll consider if children need extra support because of their disability compared to other children the same age, and what is reasonable for family, friends and the community to provide.
We consider whether:
- because of their disability, a child’s support needs are much more than the needs of other children of the same age. This means the family needs to provide a lot more care than would normally be provided for a child of that age
- the support will help build the child’s capacity
- the support will reduce any risk to a child’s wellbeing
- the support will reduce any risks to family members or friends.
Generally, we won’t fund travel supports for children to get to and from social and recreation activities. This is because families or guardians have a role in meeting their child’s daily travel needs.
Debbie is 14 and loves dancing. Debbie has just started lessons at a new dance school but is finding it hard to understand the teacher’s instructions. Debbie’s dance lessons start at 7pm each Tuesday night. At age 14, we would generally expect Debbie’s parents to provide transport for her. This is because parents would usually transport their child to night time dance lessons.
We wouldn’t expect Debbie’s family to support their 14 year old daughter during the dance lesson. This is because parents don’t usually provide support for their teenage children during the class. Instead, we might fund a support worker to help Debbie follow the teacher’s instructions. The support could also include training for the dance teacher so she understands Debbie’s needs.
What if you’re an adult?
We know that getting support from your family, friends and the community can be important for you and your wellbeing. At times you may prefer to be independent and enjoy social and recreation activities without calling on friends or family to help you.
If you’re an adult, we look at whether it’s reasonable for your family, friends or the community to provide the extra help you need.
We’ll think about:
- how much extra help you need and what type
- whether the activity is the kind of thing an adult would usually do without extra help from family or friends
- if your family, friends or the community provide the extra help, would it pose a risk to your wellbeing or to theirs
- whether support from your family, friends or the community would help you to become more independent, or less independent
- whether it’s suitable for your family, friends or the community to provide this support. For example they may not have the capacity to provide the support at the level you require.
Naturally, friends and family often can and want to help, and their involvement can be an important part of enjoying social and recreation activities. Paid supports can’t, and are not intended to, replace the support that it’s reasonable for family, friends and other community networks to provide.
Nadine enjoyed yoga as a teenager and used to attend with her sister. Since Nadine’s diagnosis of a psychosocial disability she has wanted to stay at home and not go back to the yoga centre due to feelings of anxiety and isolation, which result from her disability. She’s lacked the confidence to go almost anywhere on her own. Nadine’s sister tried to encourage her back to yoga but wasn’t able to attend the centre with her.
A support worker was funded to support Nadine to return to yoga classes. The support worker helped her become familiar again with the yoga centre and the instructors, helped her find the right clothes to wear and to attend classes. After a few weeks of support to get to know others at yoga, Nadine connected with a person who also attended on their own. Nadine was able to attend yoga without her sister or the support worker and now goes twice a week with her new yoga buddy.