Host Program

Take a break from your role as a carer while your child spends time with their host volunteer.

Hosting is a lifestyle change promoting extended families and lifelong friendships.

The host program matches your child who has a disability (up to age 18) with a volunteer host who welcomes your child into their home and lifestyle, providing them with an opportunity to make new friendships, develop new skills and enjoy new experiences. In turn, this gives you the opportunity to catch up on things you may not otherwise get a chance to do. Why not spend more quality time with other family members and friends, make a dent in your to-do list or just put your feet up and have a rest!

Matching your child with the right host volunteer is an inclusive process. It involves regular catch ups and conversations to ensure we have as much information and understanding about your child and family as we can. This ensures that the match is based on a mutual sharing of interests, values and availability.

We also understand it can take time for the relationship between your child/family and the volunteer’s family to develop. You have the flexibility to ease your way into this at your own pace, with the assistance of the program coordinator who will facilitate joint catch ups as required.

Once the match is established, the expectation is that your child and their host volunteer will spend time on a regular basis; ranging from a few hours to a full weekend each month. Over time you will each establish your own independence to organise these arrangements amongst yourselves. Don’t be surprised if, over time, you find yourselves being invited to each others birthday parties and other social events!

Hosting FAQs

Any child or young adult with a disability aged up to 18 years of age is eligible for the host program.

No. All families living in Melbourne’s outer east are able to apply for the Host Program. If you live outside of IOE’s catchment area, Interchange Network may be able to help match your child with a host volunteer in your local community.

All host volunteers are subject to mandatory police and working with children checks.

You may nominate someone you already know to sign up as a host volunteer provided they do not reside at the same residence as you here.

Most host matches last several years with many connections exceeding 10 years. The host match does not need to come to an end when your child turns 18.

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Get in contact, call 03 9758 5522

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