Statewide Autistic Services Inc.
Your life. Your choice. Your way.
Statewide Autistic Services Inc.
Your life. Your choice. Your way.

Community based recreation & respite

Under the Great Break Funding Initiative, SASI is able to offer community based recreation / respite options to families who care for people with an autism spectrum disorder.

Being an autism specific program means our staff have the training and experience to appropriately deal with behaviours of concern when they arise, which gives great comfort to parents and carers. All outings are supervised by our own professional staff and our participant-to-staff ratio is 2:1. We also cater for clients who require 1:1 support while out in the community.

Funding for participation in SASIs recreation / respite program is provided by the Department of Human Services via packages allocated to the person with a disability.

These funding packages are made available to assist families who care for a person from age five with an autism spectrum disorder and who live within the southern metropolitan region of Victoria.

How to access recreation & respite funding

Contact SASI's Recreation Coordinator on (03) 9773 6044 to make initial enquires about accessing Great Break Funding and have the application process explained.

Once the application process is complete, funding will be allocated to each client based on need, access to other funding support and services received from other organisations.

Funding is renewed each financial year, and families need to reapply annually.

Once funding is received by the family, the person you care for may access community based recreation / respite services provided by SASI. Funds may also be used to pay for services such as swimming lessons or those provided by other community organisations.

Funding may not be used to provide care or assistance for other family members.

"SASI funding provides us with flexible respite options that work best for our family."


"SASI provides excellent care when Douglas uses their recreation services. The carers really look after him with patience and good humour and Douglas loves talking to the carers because they are kind and really listen to him."


What community based recreation & respite services does SASI offer?

SASI offers a variety of community based recreation / respite services including:

  • School holiday programs
  • Camps
  • Weekend adventure club
  • 1:1 in home and community based support
  • Brokerage
  • Other options as negotiated with the SASI program coordinator.

Demand for placement in SASI's community based recreation / respite programs is high. It is thus not uncommon to experience a waiting period.

School holiday programs

Each school holiday period SASI offers a different program of outings for people with autism. The program aims to meet the needs of people with diverse abilities, interests, cultural and linguistic backgrounds and of different age groups.

Snow trips, drive-in cinema, Circus Oz, fishing, Werribee Zoo, the Shark and Ray Centre and Disney on Ice have all been outings included in recent school holiday programs. Weather conditions and registrations sometimes force us to alter our program.


SASI hosts two camps each January. One for people with higher support needs and one for those with lower support needs. Each camp runs over a period of three days and two nights and accommodation is usually in holiday homes. Most participants are aged 15 and above.

Sorrento, Phillip Island, Queenscliff and Geelong were the most recent locations. The camp program includes some set activities each day and also provides the opportunity for participants to choose what local attractions they want to explore at their destination. Surfing, horse riding, adventure parks, beach walks and BBQs are typical camp activities.

Weekend adventure club

The weekend adventure club offers twelve day trips throughout the year. These are designed to suit groups of people with similar interest, ages and abilities so participants get the most enjoyment for the outing. This means not all twelve activities will be suitable for everyone. The destinations are chosen to enable participants to attend community events that often take place on weekends such as sporting events, concerts, theatre, community festivals and shows. In the colder months, indoor activities such as movies and bowling are offered. Sometimes participants suggest activities they want to experience.

1:1 in home and community based support

This sort of support may be for a few hours, a day or overnight care and support in the participant's own home environment. It may be used to assist with a regular activity such as taking the person to swimming lessons or physiotherapy appointments, or simply as a period of respite for the parent or carer. In this situation activities are parent-directed.


SASI can provide a brokerage service to assist you identify and access recreation / respite services delivered by another provider.

Other options as negotiated with the SASI program coordinator

SASI aims to be flexible in the way we provide community based recreation / respite services. If you have other requirements that don't fit with the programs offered, talk to us and we will endeavour to meet you needs.


To get up to date information on the fee schedule, please email or ring SASI on (03) 9773 6044.

Respite for older carers

A partnership between the Alfred Health Carer Services, the Department of Human Services and SASI enables SASI to also offer a recreation / respite program on alternate Saturdays for people with a disability living with a carer aged 60 and above.

This program is not autism specific and caters for all disability types but cannot offer 1:1 support. The program is intended for participants aged 18 and above.

Families need to be living in the Southern Metropolitan Region to be eligible to participate and be able to make their way to Seaford as the regular pick up point.

This is a group-based program with activities determined by the interests and input of participants, which takes them to destinations all over Melbourne in the same way a family might plan a weekend outing.

To enquire about this program please contact Alfred Health Carer Services on (03) 8781 3410 or SASI on (03) 9773 6044.