- The concept of “home”
- Supported Living Initiative
The concept of home signifies a place, or places, where one feels an especial familiarity and security, a sense of reassurance and fit with one’s identity, and even some measure of control over the environment or, at least, some degree of manageable predictability.
Home is, ideally, one’s most familiar, legible, predictable, and safe place, a point of relative stability for an ever-changing person in a world always in flux.
Although we do still support people in group home settings; The Brothers of Charity Services Roscommon are committed to supporting people to live inclusive lives in their own communities in a real and meaningful way. Our aim is to support people to live as inclusively as possible in their own homes as the group home model is not currently the best practice model of support. We are working towards individuals availing of houses in the same way as the mainstream population and we aim to identify and support them to develop their lives in their own homes.
We are actively working on many ways to support people to live as inclusively as possibly such as supporting them in:
- their own family homes
- private rented houses
- Housing Associations
- Roscara Housing – http://roscarahousing.webs.com/
- Social Housing from the County Council – http://www.roscommoncoco.ie/en/
An example of how the organisation is continuing enhance services is the development of the Supported Living Initiative (SLI) that is being piloted in South Roscommon. This model is based on Keyring in the UK www.keyring.org
Supported Living is based on a Strength’s Based Approach to Intellectual Disability.
- This operates on the assumption that people have strengths and resources for their own empowerment.
- The focus is on the individual and their strengths and abilities, not their disability.
- Strengths based supports do not ignore difficulties/problems but shift the focus onto the person’s strengths
Key elements of a strengths based approach:
- A focus on strengths, not weaknesses, problems or deficits.
- The person is in charge, and nothing is done without their approval.
- The community is a resource, not an obstacle.
- People continue to learn, grow and change no matter what their disability.
How does the Supported Living Initiative work?
- SLI is based on people living in their own homes but sharing their skills and talents with each other and with their communities.
- We have a volunteer in the Network. The volunteer sees Members regularly and helps the group work together. The volunteer is like a good neighbour who will help out if difficulties arise. Because the volunteer lives in the community, they know what’s going on and are able to help Members make links.
- There is also a Supported Living Co-ordinator who makes sure that Members get the support they need.
- SLI believes that Community Connections are very important. We encourage people to make good links in their neighbourhood. We aim to support Members to build real and lasting relationships in the community. With good Community Connections, Members become full citizens of their neighbourhood and less reliant on paid support.
For more information on Supported Living please contact Emily Walsh (SLI Organiser) on 087-2872418 0r Benny Cunningham (Area Manager South Roscommon) on 087-2511314
In 2008, we piloted a Housemate arrangement where a person (that uses the services) who wished to live more independently from a group home was supported to move into their own house. Initially the person was supported for a certain amount of hours from paid staff. This was not enough support for the person but paid support was not what they needed – it was company…. and friendship…
The housemate arrangement is a natural way to support a person to live as independently as possible and within an inclusive model of support.
- Inclusion for person with intellectual disability
- Meeting new people through the housemates network such as family, friends, neighbours, partners etc…
- Learning new skills, new experiences
- Relaxed, casual support as no pressure on housemate to do “staff” duties
- Housemate can become an advocate for individual – member of circle of support
- There aren’t any!!!
For more information on the Housemate arrangement please contact Emily Walsh (SLI Organiser) on 087-2872418