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  • Host Family/Shared Living Services 

    Host family/shared living services assist a person served to find a shared living situation in which the person is a valued person in the home and has supports as desired to be a participating member of the community. An organization may call these services, which are provided under a contract or written agreement with the host family/shared living provider, a variety of names, such as host family services, shared living services or supports, alternative family living, structured family care giving, family care, or home share.

    Getting the person in the right match is a critical component to successful host family/shared living services. The organization begins by exploring with the person served what constitutes quality of life for the individual and identifies applicant host family/shared living providers who are a potential match with the person’s identified criteria. The person served makes the final decision of selecting a host family/shared living provider.

    Safety, responsibility, and respect between or amongst all people in the home are guiding principles in these services. Persons are supported to have meaningful reciprocal relationships both within the home, where they contribute to decision making, and in the community. The host family/shared living provider helps the person served to develop natural supports and strengthen existing networks. Relationships with the family of origin or extended family are maintained as desired by the person served. The host family/shared living provider supports the emotional, physical, and personal well-being of the person.

    Persons develop their personal lifestyle and modify the level of support over time, if they so choose. The host family/shared living provider encourages and supports the person served to make decisions and choices.

    The host family/shared living provider does not necessarily have to be a family, as it could be an individual supporting the person. Although the “home” is generally the host family/shared living provider’s home or residence, it may also be the home of the person served.

    Some examples of the quality results desired by the different stakeholders of these services and supports include:

    • Quality of life as identified by the person served is enhanced.
    • Increased independence.
    • Increased community access.
    • Persons served choose whom they will live with and where.
    • Participation of the persons in the community.
    • Community membership.
    • Support for personal relationships.
    • Increased natural supports.
    • Strengthened personal networks.
    • Supports accommodate individual needs.
    • Persons feel safe.
    • Persons feel that the supports they need/want are available.
    • Persons decide where they live.
    • Persons feel valued.
    • Persons have meaningful relationships.
    • Persons develop natural supports.
    • Persons participate in their community.

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