Joy Burch and Ricky Stuart launch respite care for autism plan

THE ACT Government and the Ricky Stuart Foundation have partnered to build a new respite centre for primary school aged children with disability, including autism.

Ricky Stuart, Hilary Martin, Arlarna and Tyrone Barratt and Joy Burch

Ricky Stuart, Hilary Martin, Arlarna and Tyrone Barratt and Joy Burch

The six-bed centre, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2015, will cater for between 30 and 40 families a year, depending on need, and will complement existing respite services.

“This is great news for ACT families. This centre will give carers the short-term break they need to recharge, while providing a positive experience for the child with disability,” Joy said.

“The ACT Government and The Ricky Stuart Foundation have a shared understanding of the importance of enabling children with disability to participate fully, while support and respite is provided to their families.

“Some families may choose to use it as a weekend away for their child, while others may like to use it on weeknights. Our aim is to make sure it operates in the way families and children with disability want it to.

“It will be suitable for all children with disability, but we will ensure that it has appropriate support for children with autism.”

The ACT Government committed $1.075 million in the 2014-15 Budget to construct a modern respite centre for children aged 5 to 12 years.

The ACT Government will identify and secure land and the Ricky Stuart Foundation, in partnership with the Government, will undertake the design and construction of the facility. Marymead will operate the services.

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