What is the Interchange Program?
The Interchange Program matches a person with a disability with a volunteer host (buddy) or host family who include them in their family activities on a regular basis.
Volunteer hosts or buddies receive orientation, training and ongoing support from qualified Interchange Program Workers.
Who benefits from the Interchange Program?
Children Benefit – with new friendships! Having friends gives everyone a real boost and opens up a whole new range of experiences.
“I love going to my host family… I get to do lots of different things” – 16 year old Interchange Participant
Parents Benefit – With a regular break! The child’s family can plan special weekends for recreation, renewal and uninterrupted time with their other children.
“Mary’s Interchange Hosts are very special for us because they are people who choose to be her friends (rather than paid carers).” – Interchange Parent
Hosts / Buddies Benefit – A rewarding experience! Caring for someone with a disability is a stimulating and enriching experience for all involved.
“Our children have gained so much from their friendship with Jane.” – Interchange Host
Who can be an Interchange volunteer?
Interchange volunteers are everyday people with no special qualifications. Volunteers can be a couple, with or without children, single people, young adults or grandparents.
What do Interchange volunteers do?
Interchange volunteers provide regular respite care for their Interchange child/young person and involve them in activities, providing new experiences.
How do I find out more?
For more information please contact Gateways Interchange workers via Contact Us or by phoning 5221 2984.
This program is supported by funding from the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments under the HACC program.