Adults with ASD have a lot of choice when it comes to living away from home. The main goal of OCL’s services is to help you and your loved one stay in the community and choose where to live.
Our Home Share programs depend on how well the residents get along with the Home Share provider and their family. Several things are considered during the intake and hiring process to make sure that a good match is made, such as:
- Comparing the physical building to the physical needs of the person
- The location where the house is
- The presence of a partner or spouse, children or pets
- Person-Centered outcomes based on common interests and activity levels
- How well the Home Share provider has dealt with problems unique to the resident
- How well people get along
The Home Share program of Ottawa-Carleton Lifeskills Inc. makes sure that an adult with a developmental disability is matched with a Home Share provider who will help with their life in their own family home.
A Home Share program is more than just a place to live and eat. Adults with developmental disabilities who live in one of our Home Share homes really become part of the family. They help out around the house, celebrate holidays and other special occasions with the Home Share family, and often take family vacations together.
When OCL finds a possible match, the Home Share provider and the resident meet and start to get to know each other through short visits; as these go on, the Home Share provider and the resident get to know each other better and spend more time together. Before the resident moves in, he or she may even spend the night together. Visits will include everyone living in the family home, as well as other people who are also getting help through the Home Share.
At a Person-Cenetred planning meeting once a year, residents and their families set goals and plan how to reach them. The Supervisor and the Home Share provider review this plan, and then paperwork is kept to show how the goals are being reached.
The program supervisor visits each Home Share home on a regular basis. They meet with the Home Share provider and the resident to ensure the service is good and that the two people are still a good match. The Supervisor keeps a close eye on any changes in the household such as the arrival of new people, a move, a family illness, the birth of a child, the arrival of pets, etc.
Home Share providers don’t replace a resident’s immediate family, but they often strengthen the relationship between a resident and his or her real family. As with all OCL programs, we encourage the family to become involved; encourage the Home Share provider to have family visits in their home; and help the person get along with their natural family. Most of the time, we’ve found that the person’s relationship with his or her family improves because less stress is put on the family, the person or both.
Since 1993, our Home Share program has operated successfully. During this time, OCL has helped people in many ways. Residents enjoy this type of small setting because it gives them more freedom to go to school, play sports, get involved in the community, spend time with their families and go on vacations. Families and professionals (like doctors and therapists) can talk to someone who knows the resident well and is always there.
The people who work as Home Share providers for Ottawa-Carleton Lifeskills do so full-time. They get paid, have benefits, and are trained, helped and supervised. As part of the hiring process, a thorough “Home Study” is done to ensure that the home is suitable (and that the other people living there will also support the person). All adults who live in the home must keep up with their police records.
Home Share providers are full-time employees who agree in their contracts to spend no more than 24 hours per week on other formal time commitments such as classes, other jobs, volunteering, or running a business from home. People who live in Home Share are asked to fill out a Family Satisfaction Survey with their families every year.
Please call us in Ottawa at (613) 254-9400 or visit us online for more information about OCL’s Home Share programs for adults with developmental disabilities.