Parents/carers supporting family members is ongoing and can be overwhelming at times. Here are a few support options to consider.

Parent support

The Strengthening Parent Support Program is funded through DFFH and is provided in the Central Highlands through the Pinarc Parent Support Program. This free service facilitates support groups, including the Ballarat Autism Parent Connection Group, and provides support and information to individual carers and families.  This is available to all parents/carers of children with disabilities 0 -18 years. 

You do not need to have a NDIS plan or be using Pinarc for any other services.  Contact the coordinator on 53291361 or


Carer Gateway can provide a range of supports to unpaid carers (including siblings as young carers). Call to Register: 1800 422 737   8am to 6pm weekdays

Locally this is run through Ballarat Health Services.  Some services they can provide :

  • Short-term individual support and information.
  • Assistance with respite planning to maximise the benefits to the carer and the person they care for
  • Helping maintain quality of life for the family.
  • Linking carers with local support services and groups.
  • Enabling carers to continue their caring role.

Victorian Government Carer Card Program

The program has a wide range of discounts and benefits on offer from businesses, the local government and community organisations.
Apply online  or call 1800 901 958 (toll free) and they can send you an application form.

Carers Victoria

Carers Victoria is our state branch of Carers Australia.  They provide lots of great information and support session in person and online.

Companion Card

The Companion Card is issued to people with a significant, permanent disability, who can demonstrate that they are unable to access most community activities and venues without attendant care support. Participating organisations will issue the cardholder with a second ticket for their companion at no charge.


A list of current programs, services and payments available to carers is outlines on this webpage.


Parentline is a phone service for parents and carers of children from birth to 18 years old. We offer confidential and anonymous counselling and support on parenting issues.

Our qualified counsellors are available to:

• Talk about any issues to do with parenting and your relationships with your child

• Help you with ways to cope and be a positive parent

• Help with your family’s wellbeing and resilience

• Connect you with services in your area.