Host Responsibilities - Disability Homestay

Host Responsibilities

Day-to-Day Essentials

  • Private furnished bedroom with a bed, wardrobe/drawers, good lighting, heating and cooling
  • Linen/sheets and a towel
  • Access to household facilities and living areas e.g. bathroom, kitchen, TV room
  • WiFi

Meals, Transport and Activities

Hosts must provide their guests with all meals. We ask that you sit down and share mealtimes with your guest where possible. We will notify you of any special dietary requirements, food allergies or requests guests may have prior to a booking being confirmed.

The cost of providing local transport and activities is also included in your host reimbursement. You may be required to pick up / drop off your guest at the airport or bus depot for example, or take them to an outside location for an activity.

Further information can be found on the Meals, Transport and Activities page.


Each guest is unique and will have different support requirements. 

Part of our pre-stay process is getting a full picture of guests’ needs so they can receive adequate care and support throughout the experience and you feel confident while hosting. 

Your role as a host isn’t simply to “take care of” the people who stay with you, but rather give them a hand when needed to enhance their independence and confidence. Offering companionship and emotional support – as well as helping your guests achieve their goals – is just as much a focus in the Disability Homestay Network program. If a high level of assistance is required, the guest may travel with a support worker or carer.

Examples of how you might support your guest during their stay:

  • Preparing their meals so they are easier to consume, chopping food into bite-sized pieces or adding thickener to their drinks for example
  • Helping them in and out of bed
  • Self-care routines like getting dressed or brushing their hair
  • Avoiding stressors such as excess noise or clutter
  • Providing friendship and emotional connection
  • Creating opportunities for them to achieve their goals

We offer three products based on the level of support the guest requires:

1:4 or 1:3 STA and assistance with daily living – Lower support needs
(no behavioural plans and ambulatory)

Assistance required – Routines, safety, meals, medication, transport to access the community, assistance with activities, e.g. electronics, games, gardening, cooking, hydration, turning on taps, cleaning, making the bed, tidying up, packing.

View more information about Lower Support Needs

1:2 STA and assistance with daily living – Medium support needs
(no behavioural plans and ambulatory)

Assistance required – Routines, safety, medication, eating, drinking, personal care, speech, hearing, vision, socializing, transport to access the community, higher level or complete assistance with activities, e.g. electronics, games, gardening, cooking, hydration, turning on taps, cleaning, making the bed, tidying up, packing.

View more information about Medium Support Needs.

1:1 STA and assistance with daily living – High support needs

Assistance required – High levels of support for all activities and functions. Guest may have a behaviour support plan in place or be non-ambulatory. Host must have completed advanced training and hold a valid first aid and CPR certificate. Assistance with medication and manual handling may be required.

View more information about High Support Needs.

We will not be placing guests with High support needs until we have an adequate database of experienced / fully trained hosts who are able to offer this level of support.


Please ensure that someone is home to greet your guest when they arrive.

Guests will either be brought to your house using pre-arranged transport or you may need to pick them up from a local transport hub such as a bus depot or train station. We will provide you with an approximate timeframe of when the guest will arrive, but ask that you understand delays may occur. Please call us if your guest has not arrived or contacted you within three hours of their expected arrival time.

Welcome and Orientation

The following will help your guests settle in and enjoy their experience.

  • Give your guest a warm welcome and introduce them to the family (or tell them when they will be home) – don’t forget to include your pets if you have any.
  • Take a mini tour around the home focusing on key areas like the living room, bathroom and their bedroom.
  • Encourage your guest to contact their parents/carer to let them know they have arrived safely.
  • Explain how they can access the internet and use certain appliances (gaming consoles, air conditioning, etc.). Do this gradually, as this will help your guest to not feel overwhelmed.
  • Go over your Emergency Preparedness Plan (see the Host Resources page for a template) to ensure they understand what to do in an emergency.
  • Give your guest some time to unpack and get used to your home. Offer to move furniture if it will make them more comfortable.
  • Have a chat about what meals are planned.
  • Talk about the activities you will be doing together or ones the guest has booked in. Ask your guest if there is anything in particular that they would like to do.
  • Encourage everyone in the household to give plenty of friendly smiles and take the time to get to know your guest.
  • Ask your guest if there’s anything you can do to help them settle in and feel more comfortable.

Become a Host