Accessibility Tools

A care worker assisting a child with disability

We regularly check with our users what you would like to know more about? One recent response was “Information on access to short term accommodation packages for children with complex care”. Here we explain how we helped.

A family had been unable to find suitable short term accommodation (STA) for a child and had been searching for years.

What we did to help

The query came in after 5 pm, via one of our platforms to one of our Team of Information Officers. 

The IDEAS Information Officer gained some more details, such as the location, if there was an NDIS package in place and other needs specific to the family. Then searched our database for operators in the area, ready to be contacted when business hours resumed or emailed before the shift ended.

We contacted 6 organisations and asked if they had the capacity, and talked or emailed to learn if they met the needs we had been given. Our average number of calls for an enquiry is 11. That’s 11 phone calls and heaps of time we save you.

An example of what we might ask a service

Firstly, we explain we are from IDEAS, a free service for People with Disability.

On behalf of a customer, I am after details on the suitability of your service for Short term Accommodation for an X-year-old boy that has a X and an X.  The reason for the STA request is X.

We will confirm they operate in the area, offer the services requested and fit with the NDIS, fee for service or funding arrangement and Plan management choice if applicable.


For this enquiry 2 of the 6 organisations, we contacted replied to IDEAS that they could assist. (4 did not respond or were pending when we closed the enquiry). Sometimes it can take a few days for organisations to respond to our request, and we keep you updated if it is taking longer than expected.

In this case, these organisations contact details were then provided directly to the person who made the enquiry, that they had the capacity and could meet the needs requested. It was now their decision if they wanted to make contact with the organisation.

The enquiry was closed.

What is Short Term Accommodation?

Short-term Accommodation (STA) refers to supports previously referred to as ‘respite’. STA describes supports provided for a limited period of time, typically delivered in a residential house, unit or flat. In some instances, the provider might book an apartment at a hotel.

It can be provided as additional support in your own home by some organisations. Some organisations will only provide STA to adults, others only to children, some offer services to both.

What if you do not have an NDIS package

Some providers offer short-term accommodation at Fee-for-Service. This service will have a support ratio. It might be 1:3, and it might be 1:1 depending on the organisation.

In an NDIS plan

The funding stream comes from Core Supports – Assistance with Daily Life

What does STA include?

  • Specialised around the clock support staff
  • Medications and personal care
  • Accessible environment
  • Meals
  • Social activities and
  • Overnight and short stays


Glossary: NDIS key terms and acronyms defined.

IDEAS does information, so you can do life.