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Host Family

mentally disabled woman with a second woman and a companion dog, concept learning by animal assisted living

A host family supports a person with disability in one of the most natural and beneficial ways possible: through connection, participation and a mutual sharing of lives.

Host families provide respite for carers by welcoming a person with disability into their family home on a full or part-time basis. In doing so, they gain valuable insight into the lives of people with disability, and reap the benefits of welcoming them into their own lives.

Directions values our host families greatly, and as such has implemented an organisational structure to support them and to ensure that everyone involved is properly safeguarded.

We begin with a comprehensive assessment which looks at all aspects of family life, and every family member who may potentially be involved. The application is then reviewed by an independent panel made up of experts in the field. A host family arrangement is then established by following a careful matching process, focusing on natural connections and relationship development.

To ensure the sustainability of the arrangement, the Directions coordinator regularly visits the host family to reviews all aspects of the relationships and arranging any necessary training.


“It has been such a journey [becoming] a host family . . . learning from [our individual] has been life-changing. Learning to see the person and not their disability, learning to look and enjoy the simple things in life, and not to stress over the little things.  Slowing down, smelling the roses, and just being. The person I support enters a place in your heart whether you want it or not, and has become a part of our family. It has been such a joy getting to know them.” – Kim

For more information about Host Family, please contact us or call our Host Program Manager Karina Lodge on 9262 4900.

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