In April, 1989, a group of 40 individuals, most of whom were parents of a child with disability, met at Woody Point Special School to discuss the need for respite. A Resource Officer from the Department of Family Services was present. After consideration of the available respite options, the consensus of opinion was that the largest single issue faced by the families of children with disability was that of QUALITY CARE.
The identified need was for a respite service which valued both the family unit and the family member with a disability. In addition this service had to be:
- geographically accessible
- financially accessible
- flexible enough to meet individual needs
- flexible enough to allow families control over the way in which the service operated
To Achieve This
A committee of eight people was formed. With the assistance of the Parents and Citizens Association of Woody Point Special School, surveys were distributed to ascertain the respite needs of people with disability and their families. Survey respondents indicated, overwhelmingly, that they wanted a community-based house offering overnight respite.
On the 29th November 1989, a public meeting resolved that the group become incorporated as Breakaway Inc. A Management Committee was formed and an application for sanction was made under the Collections Act. In addition, a grant application was submitted to the Housing Accommodation Assistance Scheme for the funds to buy a house and renovate it for wheelchair access. This grant was awarded in mid 1990 and the house at 16 Buckingham Street, Margate, was purchased.
Recurrent joint Commonwealth/State funding was eventually granted to cover the cost of employing staff and some operational expenses. In late 1991, the first Service Manager was employed. The Breakaway Inc. Respite House was officially opened in February 1992 by Mr Tom Burns, Deputy Premier and Minister for Housing and Local Government.
Since then, Breakaway Inc. has grown significantly. Many people have generously given of their time, energy, care and professional experience to work towards a common goal and shared responsibility.
Their determination and hard work have certainly been worthwhile. The input of our guests and their families continues to be valued and is necessary to ensure the ongoing delivery of a quality service of which we can be very proud.
Breakaway’s vision: to be a highly respected provider of vibrant services that embrace opportunities for people with disability to grow, develop and engage in the pursuit of a meaningful life.
Breakaway’s mission: to provide flexible and respectful quality care that supports people with disability in a caring, safe and stimulating environment.
Breakaway’s precept: ‘Find A Way, Make A Way, There Is A Way’
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