Supports for children with a disability (0-17)

Interchange and Support Options can assist with:

Contact Support Options or Interchange on (03) 5720 0000 or (02) 6055 8000

Recreational and social group activities

Interchange runs a range of Group Activities for children with a disability during school holidays, after school and on weekends – to have fun and make connections.

All activities are led by experienced staff and supported by a great bunch of enthusiastic volunteers.

School holiday activity days run Monday to Friday from either Wodonga or Wangaratta, and provide a mix of options including centre based sessions creating opportunities for children to explore and play at their own level through a range of sensory and interactive play options, through to daily excursions exploring fun and exciting activities within the community. 

Camp experiences are a great way to spend time with friends and share fun and exciting experiences. Interchange runs camps during the school holiday periods and some weekends. They vary in duration from 1 -3 nights and may be held at local locations or further afield exploring new destinations.

Each participant on camp has a volunteer assigned to them for the duration of the camp to provide that little bit of extra support and attention. Children are supported to participate in the varied activities a camp experience offers. Whatever the activity, there is always fun and laughter and great celebrations when achievements are reached. Costs for camps are all inclusive, covering accommodation, meals, and travel.

“Always something to do in the holidays – we  love it”

After school options

Interchange offers a range of after school group activity options across Wodonga and Wangaratta for children aged 12 to 17yrs. Activity sessions run from Monday to Friday with different activities available each afternoon. Activities vary each term and participants are required to book in for the term. Activities may include: cooking and life skills, activities in the local community, or a range of sport and recreation activities. Sessions run from school finish – 5.30pm with transport available from Wangaratta and Wodonga Special Schools.

Youth Group

Youth Group is a monthly event for young people 12 to 17 years of age. The focus of the group is about having fun with friends. The group may stay in at the centre and participate in a range of activities, or enjoy a night out at the movies, bowling or perhaps enjoy one of the many local festivals or live performances.

Costs for these services are available on application.

Volunteer with Interchange

Our volunteers make a difference. Volunteers for the recreation group activities are aged from 15 years and bring enthusiasm and commitment to their supporting role. Recreation Volunteers are matched with a child or young person on a one-to-one basis and support their ‘match’ in achieving goals and having fun whilst on the program.

Interchange staff are always available to support and guide volunteers, providing information about the program and about the young person they will be matched with. All recreation volunteers undergo an application and selection process including: National Police, Working with Children, and referee checks.

“I’m coming back, I didn’t expect I would enjoy this so much”

Volunteer Host and Big Buddy program

A match with a volunteer host family or big buddy can bring some amazing opportunities (for the volunteer as well as the individual and their family). It can open doors to new experiences, to new friendships, to new supports, and to a new sense of belonging and connection.

“Our host family  is the most special family to us – Dan loves them, loves spending time with them, and we love the breathing space!”

Host Program

The Host Program matches a child with a disability, aged to 18 years, with a volunteer host who shares their home and time with that child on a regular basis.

Arrangements around actual periods of care are flexible and are tailored to meet the needs of family, child, and host. Involvement varies from staying overnight one weekend per month, to day visits at the host’s home, or exploring the local community together.

Initially the prospective host, the child and their family all meet, giving everyone the opportunity to get to know a little about each other. For the match process to continue, everyone must give their agreement.

Peer support – Big Buddy

The Big Buddy Program involves experienced volunteers (18+) who are matched with individual children to spend time together on activities and outings. These events usually occur monthly for two to three hours at a time, but may occur more frequently if required.

Big buddy matches enable participants to develop connections and participate in activities that are of interest to them. This could include support to join in on a regular group, or experiencing varied opportunities in their community.

The opportunity is also available for 2 or 3 participants to join together to attend activities to enhance the social benefits of this program.

Host and Big Buddy Volunteers

Volunteers for the Host and Big buddy program must be 18 years or over. They come with varying experiences and backgrounds and may be singles, couples, families, grandparents – all contribute in their unique way.

All volunteers undergo a detailed assessment and accreditation process including: police, working with children, referee checks, and medical clearance. General and where required, specialised training and support is provided to all volunteers.

Individual Flexible Support

The Interchange program is able to provide individually tailored respite and support services through its purchasable service model. Purchased services are not restricted to geographic boundaries and may be accessed by an individual meeting the disability requirements. Interchange staff work directly with individuals, their family/carers and support network to identify individual requirements and plan a support package. Service support is flexible and ranges from in home support to recreational based care. Consistency of carers and an individualised flexible approach are key components of this service.

Examples of this care have been: day outings enjoying activities specific to an individual’s interest, support to undertake holiday experiences, or morning support to get an individual ready and transported to school or activity sessions. Agencies may purchase these services on behalf of individuals and families.

Prices are available on application.

Support Coordination and Planning

Support Options are able to provide time limited support coordination with children with a disability and their families/carers. Support Coordination could include:

  • Helping you to identify, link with and organise the supports needed to achieve your goals
  • Assisting you to plan for now and into the future
  • Providing you and your family/carers with the information and tools needed to support you to live as independently as possible
  • Helping you in arranging services such as:
    • Recreation and leisure
    • Getting out and about in your local community
    • Education and employment
    • Health and wellbeing
  • Short and medium term support based on your needs and/or flexible funding
  • Having time out or having a break (respite)
  • A flexible and responsive service including phone and face to face contact

Respite supports

Support Options can provide:

  • Planning of regular respite to help reduce stress, restore energy, and support your relationship(s)
  • Respite choices based on your individual needs
  • Information and referral to health, disability and other community services

Flexible funding for respite and other individual supports

Support Options may (via Community Based Respite and Flexible Support Package funding) fund towards supports including:

  • Supports based on your Individual needs, circumstances and your additional requirements pertaining to your disability related needs
  • In home and out of home support including respite
  • Aids and equipment to enhance independence
  • Individualised supports from a provider of your choice

This service is episodic and time limited. This means that support coordination and/or flexible funding will end when your goals have been met or you no longer require support. If this changes after your involvement with Support Options has ceased, you can always call in to make a new request for service.

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UMFC acknowledges the support of the Victorian and the Australian Governments

Commitment to Child Safety

All children and young people who access UMFC Services have a right to feel and be safe and to be treated with respect. We are committed to providing a welcoming and safe environment and working towards the best interests of children and young people at all times.