Family Support & Local Services

Local Services in Ballarat Region 2020


Ballarat Autism Parent Connection

The Ballarat Autism Parent Connection is a friendly, relaxed group of parents and carers who come together, once a month during school terms. This is a great opportunity to share your knowledge and experience and to gain new information about local services and events.  New members warmly welcomed.

When: 10am – 12pm monthly on Mondays during school term

Where:      Robin Hood Hotel 33 Peel St Nth, Ballarat

Fore more information please contact the Pinarc Parent Support Coordinator on (03) 5329 1316.

Implexa  Allied Health

Implexa offers a multi disciplinary approach for supporting children on the autism spectrum, supporting families and children with social programs, in-school support and therapy support

For more information contact:    PH: 0498 12 16 18

Social Skills Plus Program (developing social skills)

Social Skills Plus brochure      Social Skills Plus program

Social Skills Plus provides a range of unique and comprehensive programs designed to assist people in developing social skills and self confidence through techniques such as role play, drama, games & improvisation. The program is tailored to meet the needs of the individual.

Tricia Murphy
Phone:   0428 934 077

Child Behaviour Therapist and Family Counsellor

Bobbi Cook
Phone:  (03) 5332 0904 or 0408 405 684

Uplift Therapy – Steph Van Velzen

Occupational Therapy support for early childhood and school aged children

Steph Van Velzen


National Occupational Therapy

Elise Stanley P: 1300 340 440  M: 0417 169 089

PO Box 24 Black Rock Vic 3193


Inspiring Possibilities – Occupational & Speech Therapy

Inspiring Possibilities are a team of Occupational Therapists and Speech Pathologists delivery mobile therapy to your home or school.

For more information, please click here.

The Shine Centre-

 Providing individual and group therapy services for children with autism and special needs.

For more information click here –

Cyndi’s Development Needs

Cyndi’s development needs (CDN) is a unique tutoring business specialising in one-on-one support for people of all ages including pre and post school age. CDN can assist with learning needs to ensure that every individual has the ability to grow academically, physically and socially.
  • Academic:
    Can help an individual with their academic needs such as reading, writing and mathematics.
  • Physical:
    Cyndi holds a degree in fitness and personal training. Gross motor development and fitness motivation is a focus.
  • Social:
    Cyndi can teach speaking, comprehension and social skills.
  • Cyndi Nunn

Respite Care

Respite is care for the person with a disability in or out of home that allows the carer to have a break.

Department of Human Services (DHS) Disability Services

DHS Disability Services have respite houses for children, adolescents and adults with disabilities. To access respite you need to undertake the eligibility process with DHS. Unfortunately, availability to facility based respite is becoming increasingly more difficult as places are limited and demand continues to grow.

For more information contact Disability Intake Coordinator on (03) 5333 6669.

Carer Respite & Support Services  – Information, support and assistance for carers of people with a disability and special needs.

Carer Respite & Support Services provides a single contact point for carers to access respite care and information on other available resources to support them in their caring role.  For more information call 1800 052 222 (freecall) or 1800 059 059 (freecall) for help with emergency respite outside of business hours.

Commonwealth Carelink Centre Grampians
102 Ascot Street South
Ballarat  3350
Phone:(03) 5320 3635

Respite Services – City of Ballarat

The City of Ballarat offers respite Services by qualified carers for short periods on a regular weekly basis or occasional care for longer duration when required, usually once a month.

Respite can be provided in the clients home on a one to one basis or in the community to enable the client to participate in individual or group activities.

For more information go to the City of Ballarat website or contact the Intake Worker at Aged and Disability Services (03) 5320 5629.

Interchange Program

This involves volunteer family based respite care where the program matches a disabled child (under 18 years) with a volunteer host carer(s) who has the child to stay on a regular basis usually one day or weekend per month. Ongoing support is provided to families to ensure that the experience is a positive one for all involved.

PINARC Support Sevices offer the Interchange Program in the Central Highlands Region.  For more information contact PINARC on (03) 5329 1300.

Recreation and Community Support Programs

PINARC Support Services offer a range of programs providing respite for carers whilst the children are involved in social activities.  Contact (03) 5329 1300 to see what support programs are currently running.

Victorian ASD Family Weekends

A volunteer-run social network of friends, who are dealing with autism, who share holidays together in a supported group setting.

They help you to have a break away in a group of like minded friends who support each other and are empathic to behaviours associated with ASD. You can join in as much or as little as you want to, but hopefully you may meet other families who live near you for ongoing friendships.

Annecto – Emergency After Hours Response Service (EARS)

EARS is a free after hours emergency and crisis support to people with a disability and carers which provides short term in-home support.  Phone: 1800 72 72 80 (freecall).

Sibling Support Program

The Sibling Support Program is available at PINARC Support Services for different age groups though out the year. Contact PINARC Support Services on (03) 5329 1300 for more information and proposed program dates.

Flexible Support Packages

The Flexible Support Packages program assists families to continue to care for a family member in the family home by providing flexible support that is tailored to meet individual family needs.

Recreation and Leisure

PINARC Support Services

PINARC current run the following recreation and leisure programs:

  • Interchange Family Camp is an annual weekend camp for families and volunteers
  • Social Groups (5-18 years) provides a supportive and social atmosphere for children and teenagers with disabilities. Each of the social groups run once a month and provides activities in drama, art & craft, excursions, movies, and swimming. The aim of all the groups is to provide respite for parents and carers whilst the participants are involved in fun activities
  • Asperger Kids Club is a social skills program designed to meet the needs of young people with Asperger Syndrome
  • School Holiday Camping Program (7-17 years) offers children and teenagers with disabilities camping experience away from home during the school holidays. The camps are designed to provide parents and families respite while their child is cared for in a safe environment with individual support. One of these camps is designed for children with severe autism
  • Young Adults Social Program (18 -35 years) provides young adults with disabilities an opportunity to meet socially every fortnight and to participate in an activity option of their choice

For more information on any of the above programs contact PINARC Support Services on (03) 5329 1300 or

Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Ballarat

RDA’s programme provides opportunities for physically and intellectually disadvantaged people of all ages to enjoy friendship, fun and a sense of achievement, be part of team, learn new skills, ride alongside able-bodied peers and family, as well as compete and be involved in integrated sports.

For more information contact Patricia Fisken on (03) 5341 7501 or

Access For All Abilities (AAA)

AAA aims to provide support, information and assistance to people of all ages with disabilities in gaining access to mainstream community programs such as sporting groups, hobby groups and clubs. Contact (03) 5329 1300 for more information.