Exploring New Ways to Live in Community – A conversation about supported living for people with developmental disabilities in BC
This report offers some thinking about supported living for people with developmental disabilities in BC – how it looks like now and how it could look like in the future. It highlights many of the strengths associated with this residential option and identifies some of the challenges we need to collectively tackle. The content of the report is based on a survey and roundtable discussion, both conducted in 2013. These were initiated by a group of service providers and supported by Community Living BC (CLBC).
The survey results showed that supported living is funded and delivered in a variety of ways and supports people with a wide range of issues – health, home and financial management, housing, social and community life, relationships, coordinating with other supports, and responding to crises. The service providers who responded articulated some key strengths of supported living. It offers individualized supports and choice allowing people to live in their own homes. It is strengths-based and can help people build relationships outside the “service world”. It is an important safeguard and can offer one way to balance support and self-determination.
They also identified concerns with the funding model and barriers to access. These included difficulties attracting staff, challenges around building the trusting relationships needed to make it work, people not knowing about it, issues around managing vulnerabilities and risks, poverty, and the lack of affordable accessible housing options for people with developmental disabilities.