Our family-focused services have been designed to give every family member time out to recharge plus provide valuable educational, interactive and fun experiences for children of all ages.

Spectrum Care Whanau

Every family is different. Tell us what your family needs.

Juggling the needs of a family along with work commitments makes modern life pretty busy; it’s even busier when a family member needs extra support.

Our Spectrum Care Whanau team is committed to understanding your family’s evolving needs and providing you with choice for how to manage them. We tailor our services to your needs, not the other way around.

From after school and overnight care to school holiday programmes and planned weekend breaks, we proved stimulating, caring and fun experiences for your child as well as give you a well deserved break.

Talk to us about the type of support that will make the difference to your whanau.

Call us on 09 634 3790


Home Support

Home support is a personalised care option delivered in the comfort of your home

Our Home Support gives whanau and caregivers an opportunity to spend time with other family members.

We support a range of educational, emotional and behavioural needs, helping to build life skills, achieve personal goals and to develop community networks and integration.   

This is no ordinary role. We work hard to assign the right person to be part of your home environment; one who will build a trusting, valuable and enjoyable relationship with all of the family.  


Man hanging out washing


Home Support provides help with: 

  • Developing a person’s skills, including handling money, cooking and making friends; 
  • Accessing the community, from joining clubs and teams to learning bus routes; 
  • Helping educational goals, from helping with homework to assisting to enrol and achieve at school; 
  • Matching the person with a buddy who will join them in a range of activities.

We work with each family to provide a service that takes all individual needs into consideration, no matter how complex.


Planned Breaks for Infants
Lady holding baby

Time out is an important part of caring for your family. Our planned breaks help you to achieve this, refreshing, recharging and energising you, your child and whanau. 

Our infant planned breaks are available for families of children under five years who have a disability and/or medical dependency. These services are provided at Orakau House – our ‘home-away-from-home’ near Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.

Staffed by registered nurses and highly trained carers on a 24-hour basis, our team works closely with other health professionals to ensure consistent care of your child.

Additionally, we offer parents and caregivers take home care plans, along with training and support to help manage your child’s specific needs at home.


Smiling boy running


Orakau House offers:

• Individually planned breaks;
• Feeding and nutrition advice and support;
• Intermediate care for the transition from hospital to home;
• Home management of specific medical needs advice and support;
• A home environment with wheelchair access;
• Registered nurses and skilled caregivers;
• Family networking opportunities;
• 24-hour consultation and telephone support.

Planned Breaks for Children and Youth
Boy playing with kite

Our planned break services for children and youth provide stimulating, fun and well-managed home-away-from-home experiences.

Our planned breaks provide positive opportunities for children and young people to enjoy relationships with people outside their immediate family circle, helping them to develop independence and to engage in a wide variety of activities.  

Targeted at children between 5-16 years, our person-centred framework ensures activities are tailored to meet each individual’s capabilities, needs and goals.

Our out-of-home planned breaks offer:

  • Flexible overnight stays;
  • A safe, caring and stimulating environment;
  • Rostered support, focused on providing both a home-away-from-home for the individual and time out for the family/whanau;
  • A person-centered framework, valuing the knowledge, preferences and cultural perspectives of the family/whanau;
  • Activities tailored to each person’s preferences and goals;
  • An Activity Plan so everyone’s aware of what’s happening and when;
  • A dedicated van for outings and community events.


Planned Breaks for After-School
Happy boy with new bike

The Spectrum Care After-School Support programme gives you some extra breathing space while your child enjoys fun and stimulating activities in a safe environment.

Staffed by trained teacher aides from the Auckland Special School network, our after school programme is currently available weekdays at Sommerville Special School in Auckland.

The programme offers a healthy and structured environment for children to spend a fun afternoon on school grounds.

Prior to starting the programme, we meet with families to assess and understand each child’s needs and goals. We then develop a range of personalised and relevant activities including:

  • Indoor and outdoor activities;
  • Free, supervised play;
  • Arts and crafts;
  • Leisure and quiet time;
  • Sensory activities;
  • Music play.

When: From 2.30pm – 6.30pm weekdays 
Where: Sommerville Special School, Panmure, Auckland
Cost: Carer Support days can be redeemed, or a ‘fee for service’ cost based on your child’s support needs.

Planned Breaks for Weekends

Weekends can be just as hectic as any other day of the week. Getting the right support at the right time is all about planning ahead.

Available to all school-aged children with disabilities, our Planned Breaks – Weekend days are staffed by trained community support workers and teacher aides from Auckland’s Special School network.

The programme offers a safe, healthy and structured environment for children to spend a fun day, giving you time to do the other things you need to. 


Youth with caregiver kneeling on grass


We meet with families and children prior to enrolment to develop a range of personalised activities, aligned to each child’s needs and goals. 

These include: 

  • Arts and crafts;
  • Free, supervised play;
  • Sensory activities;
  • Music play.

When: 8.30am-4.30pm Saturdays and Sundays.

Where: Spectrum Care Community Hub, 310 Onehunga Mall, Onehunga.

Cost per day: Full Carer Support Day plus a supplementary fee depending on your child’s support needs.

Call us today on 09 634 3790 to find out more about Planned Breaks – Weekends. 

Planned Breaks for Adults

Taking a break helps everyone to recharge. Spectrum Care planned break services for adults provide access to a wide range of tailored and engaging activities.

Our planned break facilities are staffed by trained carers on a 24-hour basis and are designed to create a ‘home–away-from-home’ atmosphere.

Structured care and support for the families of people with medical or technological dependencies is available. The planned break care team works closely with other health professionals to ensure consistent care of each individual.

Planned breaks are provided on a rostered basis and the services are aimed at families that need ‘time out’. Overnight, weekend, and day planned break services are available.

They teams also provide training and support to families to help them better manage the specific needs of their loved one at home.

To plan the next break for your family, call us today on 09 634 3790. 



Two people hugging


School Holiday Programmes

Spectrum School Holiday Programmes provide support continuity for you and your whanau during school breaks.  Full supervision is provided by trained community support workers and teacher aides. 

Available to all Special School students, we provide a safe, stimulating and caring environment for children.

The Programme includes planned daily activities such as arts and crafts, cooking, age-appropriate games, sports and outings to interesting places. We also factor in time for unstructured activities and fun, as well as rest and quiet time. 



Boy playing with kite


All areas are wheelchair accessible and children with profound disabilities are welcome. 

Basic care needs such as changing, assisting with eating and toileting are provided for children in need of additional support.  

Where: Available at six sites across greater Auckland, as well as Whangarei, Hamilton and Wellington.

Cost: Carer Support days can be redeemed, or a ‘fee for service’ cost will based on your child’s support needs.

Call us today on 09 634 3790 to find out more.

Transition Support – from school to work

Finishing school is a significant and exciting milestone for every young person and their family. Our Transition Support service provides school leavers with a range of options to empower their future choices.

From employment opportunities to valued social roles and increased participation in their communities, we work with each young person to develop a Transition Plan based on their aspirations and life goals.


A smiling lady in the park


Our Transition Support includes:

Employment/Work experience

  • Developing work skills – identifying goals, strengths and interests
  • Identifying employment opportunities
  • Access to further education to develop work skills


  • Access volunteer work in the community
  • Access to sporting, cultural and recreational activities in the community
  • Identifying vocational programmes


  • Links and access funding for housing and transport

Advocacy and networking

  • Support with advocacy and community engagement during the transition

Transition support requires a referral from the student’s school (in their final year). Ministry of Education Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funding is available for students identified as having ‘high needs’ or ‘very high needs’. If you’re not ORS funded, please ask about our private transition agreements.

We’re also happy to help access other support such as Welfare Guardianship and Total Mobility Cards.

For more information, contact the Manager – Transition Support on 09 634 3790. 

Advocacy Services

At Spectrum, we believe every person with a disability deserves a life of choice, freedom and independence. We know not every person with a disability can represent themselves as ably as they need to access the right services and get the best outcomes. We can help.

Our advocates work alongside people with a wide range of communication competencies to ensure their voices are heard, their best interests addressed and their rights upheld. 

We provide a range of advocacy services and are actively engaged with relevant groups and policy-makers regionally and nationally.

People who can access this service include, current Spectrum Care service users, their families, supporters and friends, anyone considering advocacy or volunteering in the sector, and Spectrum Care staff.


Two people having coffee


We can provide individuals and families with: 

  • Information, advice and the appropriate forms for those wishing to apply to be welfare guardians or property managers for people in our service; 
  • Information about other disability providers and services; 
  • Information on Spectrum Care Trust services; 
  • Regular updates on welfare guardianship, Trusts, and the Code of Rights, as well as disability sector changes that may impact those who have a disability; 
  • Information about external advocacy services such as the Health and Disability Commission, the Personal Advocacy Trust and Citizens Advocacy; 
  • A channel for complaints, concerns and feedback on service provision; 
  • Regular regional consumer group meetings;  
  • Meetings with families; 
  • Advocate and volunteering information and support;
  • Information about funeral plans and Trusts 

Additional resources

Code of Rights

When you use a health or disability service in New Zealand, you have the protection of a Code of Rights. To find out about the Code of Rights click here.

Welfare Guardianship 

Welfare Guardianship involves a person being appointed by the courts to support the care and welfare decisions of individuals unable to make these decisions for themselves. To find out more about Welfare Guardianship click here.

For more information about Advocacy Services or to speak to an advocate, contact our coordinator – on 09 634 3790 ext 312. 

Cultural Support

Hello. Kia ora. Talofa. Bula. Malo lei lei. Ni hao. Spectrum Care’s Community and Cultural team provides support and advisory services to people of all cultures and ethnicities, with specialist teams supporting the needs of Māori, Pacific Island and Asian communities.

We provide person-centred, culturally appropriate support and an integrated approach that focuses on the needs of the individual.

The Community and Cultural team provide:

  • Assistance to families to access support from government agencies, such as Work and Income or Housing New Zealand;
  • Links to other disability support agencies;
  • Assistance to promote cultural understanding;
  • Support to enable people to become more actively involved and included in their cultures and communities;
  • Support to plan and review of Spectrum Care mets their cultural needs.


Cultural fair



Meaning ‘to support and guide’, Spectrum Care’s ‘Awhi’ group has been delivering cultural support to Māori for nearly 20 years.

The Awhi group is involved in all aspects of Spectrum Care’s support provision. It also facilitates staff inductions, powhiri, house blessings, tangi (bereavements), rights and advocacy, and other cultural initiatives.

Pacific Peoples

Spectrum Care’s Pacifika group provides high-quality, culturally appropriate support and advisory services to people from the Pacific Islands.

The Pacifika group provides an array of cultural activities and events for the people we support, including facilitating at events such as blessings and bereavements.

Asian Services 

For more than 10 years, Spectrum has provided support and advisory services to people of Asian descent.

Led by Spectrum’s Cultural Advisor – Asian Services, our specialist cultural team also utilises a network of long- term community partnerships with organisations such as TANI (The Asian Network Inc), CNSST (Chinese New Settlers Services Trust), NZCYT (New Zealand Chinese Youth Trust) and the Disability Connect Chinese Families Autism Support Group.


To access our Community and Cultural Services, a referral is needed from Taikura Trust, phone: 0800 835 4672.

For more information, contact the Manager – Community Support Services on 09 634 3790.

Specialist Support

We all face different challenges, together we can overcome these to create a more fulfilling life.

Spectrum Care is one of the largest providers of disability support services in New Zealand. We partner with people of all ages and stages to find new ways to deliver better life outcomes.

Our specialist support includes behavioural, speech and language, clinical and ageing services. We work with you to identify your family member’s unique and individual needs and design personalised care plans to meet these.

Behaviour Support

Our Behaviour Support team works closely with individuals, parents / caregivers and staff to assess the need for behavioural interventions. We develop and implement strategies and meaningful goals to help manage challenging behaviours, and monitor and regularly review our behaviour support strategies and targets.

We help parents/caregivers to develop the skills needed to effectively manage challenging behaviours and build relationships with other professionals and providers in the disability community for added support. Additionally, we provide training across all our regions and services.

Speech-Language Support

Our Speech-language Therapists (SLTs) are registered members of the NZ Speech-language Therapists’ Association. They work with people to maximise their communication skills and support people with swallowing difficulties. Through implementing a variety of strategies and tools, our SLTs aim to empower and enhance people’s lives. The SLT team focuses on maximising communication opportunities in expressing choice and connecting with others.

The SLT team works with the person, their support staff and whānau to collaborate on strategies and plans to best support the person’s needs. The SLT team have proactive systems to identify and manage risks around eating, drinking and swallowing; they assess people’s risks and difficulties and then ensure suitable supports and strategies are in place. The SLT team also provide a variety of training, coaching and eLearning.

Clinical, Health and Ageing

Our Comprehensive Health Assessment Programme is used to assess the health and medication needs of service users identified as needing specialist support. Based on the outcomes, we develop and implement strategies to help achieve meaningful health improvement and medication management,  and regularly review the impact and ongoing success of these strategies. We help parents / caregivers to develop the skills they need to confidently undertake these practices at home.

In pursuit of better health outcomes for the people we support, we partner with DHBs and tertiary institutions to ensure our thinking, methodologies and practices are current and high impact.