The Two Sides of Hosting

March 17, 2015

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Kyle Jesse and Jacob

Weegberg Family
My family have been involved with Interchange Outer East for a very long time. In fact we first became involved through the host program, around 25 years ago. When I got married and had children of my own, I knew that it was something that I wanted to be involved with again. My husband, Brett, and I were planning on waiting until our boys were a little bit older before we started hosting. But that was before we met Jacob!

Jacob began attending the same family daycare placement as my two boys (Jesse – 5 and Kyle – 2), and I mentioned IOE to his mum, Wendy. Because Brett and I had already discussed hosting at some point, we put our names forward as a potential hosting match for Jacob. He started coming to our house on a Friday, spending a couple of hours with us at first. Jacob was only 18 months old at that stage, so we all agreed to ease both families into it. Jacob is very easy going and relaxed, which made the transition very easy for everyone. At the start of this year, we decided it would be nicer if Jacob could come to us fortnightly, but for a longer period of time so we could spend more time with him. Jacob has genuinely become part of our family; my boys treat him as if he is their brother, and he fits in very easily with anything we do. We are enjoying having Jacob as part of our family and we look forward to watching him grow up with our boys.

Hosting Jacob is working so well, I know that we’ve made the right decision with the right person!
– Erin Weegberg, Host Volunteer

McQuie Family
When Erin suggested that I contact IOE, I thought I would see what was available as Jacob was still just a baby. Karen, the host program coordinator contacted me and we had a chat about the options and decided that hosting would work well for us. It seemed flexible and we liked the idea of it being long term. Jacob would be able to grow up with the host family being part of his life and it would reduce our need to always rely on our extended family for his care. If we started young he could get used to the idea as a normal part of his routine. This is exactly how it has turned out. Jacob loves going to the Weegberg’s; he smiles and waves goodbye when I drop him off. It’s so exciting for him to have the attention of other little people who are always very keen to play with him and include him in their games. It has been extremely beneficial for all of us to have Jacob in a respite arrangement. I, and sometimes my husband, enjoy a break on a regular basis and Jacob loves being there. There are many challenges of parenting a child with special needs and we can often feel emotionally drained. To have some ‘me’ time was more important than I thought. I have been able to feel recharged and ready for the next challenge whether it be more appointments or dealing with the everyday struggle of him not being able to walk yet and his difficulty in talking. I would like to thank Erin, Brett, Jesse and Kyle for opening their hearts and home to us. We feel extremely blessed by their generosity and willingness to give their time.
– Wendy McQuie, IOE Parent

For more information on the Interchange Outer East host program, see the Host Factsheet for Families : or if you are considering hosting the Factsheet for Host Volunteers 
Alternatively, contact the Host Program Coordinator, Karen Munzel on 9758 5522 or

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