Thank you for your interest in CHD’s Shared Living program. Below you will find more information to frequently asked questions. For more information or to start the application process, please call Irvinia Scott-Robbins at 413.439-0640 or email sharedliving@CHD.org.
WHAT IS SHARED LIVING?
CHD’s Shared Living program provides an alternative residential setting to the 24-hour group home. This model provides an opportunity for an individual who is receiving services through the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to live with someone who wants to make an individual with intellectual disabilities part of their life and family.
Possible arrangements include:
- Individual lives with the shared living provider in their owned home
- Individual and shared living provider rent a space together
- Shared living provider can move into the individual’s rented or owned home
Shared living support may not be provided by a legal guardian, parent, or a spouse for their ward or child.
HOW DO I QUALIFY TO BECOME A SHARED LIVING PROVIDER?
Shared living is a long-term relationship, so CHD takes many steps to find the right match for a provider and an individual.
- A telephone conversation between the recruiter and the potential provider to discuss interest in the program and home/work life.
- In-person interview(s) at the potential provider’s home to review:
- Home environment and neighborhood
- Values, life style, and family structure
- Personal reference checks
- CORI checks for everyone living at the home and respite providers
- Training for certification in First Aid, CPR, Human Rights, Fire Safety, Basic Behavior Concepts/PBS, and Health and Wellness
HOW WILL I BE COMPENSATED?
The amount of the tax-free stipend is determined though an assessment performed jointly by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and CHD, and is based on the needs of the individual. The stipend paid to the home share provider includes all charges for care (room and board). Personal expenses are paid by the individual.
WHAT IS SHARED LIVING LIKE?
Shared Living is like adding a member to your family — similar to the adoption process. It is expected that the individual would join in social activities as appropriate, and be included in the daily life and schedule of the family.
Shared living care is tailored to the needs of the individual, but most individuals need help with the activities of daily life, including meal preparation, medication management, financial transactions, and transportation to appointments. They also will look to the shared living provider to be a source of social engagement and community. For some individuals, additional direct care may be required and provided. This will be determined by CHD and DDS prior to placement.
If the individual is sick or another emergency arises, it is expected that the shared living provider will make appropriate arrangement for care coverage, just as you would with any other member of the family. That said, the same assessment process that determines the amount of the stipend will also determine the amount of respite coverage that will be available to the provider. Respite coverage ranges from two to five weeks per year.
HOW DOES RESPITE COVERAGE WORK?
Respite providers are screened and managed by CHD. They will receive all required trainings. The respite provider can provide care in their own home or in the home of the home share provider. If they choose to provide relief in their own home, they would also need to be certified as a shared living provider.
The respite provider is paid by CHD. The home share provider can set up the coverage with the respite provider.
WHAT DOES THE DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES (DDS) EXPECT FOR A SHARED LIVING PLACEMENT?
Oversight of the shared living provider and individual is performed by DDS and its Office of Quality Enhancement (OQE). CHD performs monthly visits and files a report based on the individual’s health and well-being, safety, training needs, social engagement, financial transactions, and benefits. The OQE also does a survey on at least a bi-annual basis.
Some required items include:
- Annual physical and dental examinations (with documentation)
- All prescriptions administered in accordance with written order and documentation on a medication chart
- Locks on the bedroom doors for the individual to use if desired
- A safety plan
Do you think shared living might be right for you? Call us at 413.439.0640 or email sharedliving@CHD.org