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Mytime program – facilitated peer support for parents and carers

The MyTime Program is for parents and carers of children with a disability, developmental delay or chronic medical condition. 

What is MyTime?

MyTime is a free service offering facilitated peer support to parents and carers of children with a disability, developmental delay or chronic medical condition. MyTime groups are available in 26 locations across South Australia. Find a group close to you

MyTime groups are for parents and carers wanting to connect with others and share experiences. MyTime members have first-hand knowledge of the challenges and joys that come from parenting a child with a disability, developmental delay or a chronic medical condition. 

Each MyTime group is supported by two staff. 

  • MyTime facilitator 
    • works with the parent group helping them get to know each other and decide on topics or activities for their group to discuss
    • arranges guest speakers from other organisations to attend to provide advice and information (ie NDIA, Department for Education, Novita etc)
    • arranges self-care and activity sessions (ie craft sessions, massage, picnic, visits to local areas of interest)
  • MyTime play helper
    • keeps preschool-age children engaged nearby with activities such as singing, drawing, and playing with toys and blocks
    • allows parents and carers to unwind and participate in group sessions
    • some play helpers may be qualified child care workers, however parents remain responsible for their own children at MyTime (children attending MyTime are restricted to children under school age).

Eligibility for MyTime

MyTime parents and carers must be eligible for the Carers Allowance (Child).

MyTime groups are for all parents and family carers of children aged under 18 years who need a higher level of care than other children. This may be because of disability, developmental delay or chronic medical condition.

In some circumstances, you may be eligible to attend MyTime even if your child does not have a formal diagnosis.

If you are unsure if you are eligible, contact the MyTime coordinator to discuss 

Email: Virginia.fusco [at] sa.gov.au
Phone: (08) 8159 9474

Why MyTime?

MyTime groups are free and do not affect NDIS funding.

MyTime groups are not restricted to parents of children with particular needs – there are not specific MyTime groups for autism spectrum disorder or cerebral palsy, for example. MyTime groups are open to all parents and carers. 

Parents and carers of children with a disability, developmental delay or a chronic medical condition can experience disconnection from family, friends and the broader community because of the intensity of their caring role. Access to parent and play groups in the broader community can be restricted for families of children with disabilities or complex needs. The MyTime program is designed to address this social disconnectedness. 

Research shows that parents and carers receiving formal peer support like MyTime report improved wellbeing. They feel more able to cope, less sad, guilty or lonely, and also report they learn more about caring for their children from being involved in peer support programs.

All MyTime groups have a trained facilitator, who helps group members build social connections with other families in their area, learn about local services and supports, and access evidence based information.

Children below school age are welcome to attend with their parents or carers. A MyTime play helper will be on hand to engage these children in play.

MyTime sessions

MyTime groups usually meet once a week for two hours during school terms. Members do not need to attend every session; they can attend when they have time.

Members get to plan the group sessions around their specific needs as carers. The sessions are planned in advance by the group for each term and include:

  • Coffee and chat sessions where members relax over a coffee, talk about their week and share advice and information 
  • Guest speakers, structured topics or visits to services where the facilitator or a guest speaker leads discussion on a topic of interest relevant to and agreed by members
  • Pampering and self-care where the group has fun with an activity aimed at helping members relax and look after their wellbeing.
  • Planned special events including Christmas parties and evening outings.

How to access MyTime

Contact the MyTime coordinator who will link you with the facilitator in your local area.

Email: Virginia.fusco [at] sa.gov.au
Phone: (08) 8159 9474

For more information go to the MyTime website

Disability advice and research

Phone: 8226 0515
Email: education.health [at] sa.gov.au