What is Home Share and what does it mean for my family member?
Home Share is a support option where your family member moves into the home of an approved Home Share Provider and receives daily and ongoing support. This can mean that your family member lives with another person, a couple or a whole family.
Can I be involved in making decisions about Home Share with my family member?
Yes. If your family member would like for you to be involved in making decisions about their support, you are encouraged to participate as much or as little as you like. Typically, this process starts with Community Living BC (CLBC).
If your family member is approved to receive funding for support through CLBC, they will have a CLBC Facilitator assigned to them to discuss support options. Their CLBC Facilitator will want to meet with your family member to determine what level of funding is available to them and what support options would be most suitable to their needs. If the CLBC Facilitator determines that your family member would be best supported in a Home Share Services model, they may assist your family member in accessing Home Share Services in one of two ways:
- Individual and Family Preference: If your family member lives in a community where there is more than one available agency that provides Home Share Services, CLBC may suggest that you contact available agencies, such as Community Connections Support Services, to determine which agency you and your family member would like to receive Home Share Services from. CLBC has developed a guide that explains the steps in this process and includes sample questions that you may want to ask us agencies when you meet with them. You can access the guide here. If you and your family member choose Community Connections Support Services as the agency to find the best Home Share Provider for your family member, we will work with you and your family member to make sure it is a good fit.
- If your family member lives in a community where Community Connections Support Services is the only agency available to provide Home Share Services, CLBC will contact our agency directly to discuss support options for your family member. When this happens, CLBC will give us information about your family member that will assist us in determining if we have a suitable Home Share Provider available. If we do not have an available Home Share Provider that is suitable to meet the needs of your family member, CLBC will let you know and will help you and your family member to continue looking. If we do have a Home Share Provider available, we will contact your family member to begin working with them on the process of choosing the best Home Share Provider for them.
Who’s who in Community Connections Support Services Home Share?
The Home Share Provider: This is the family or person who is responsible for providing daily and ongoing support to your family member. Your family member will move into the Home Share Provider’s home and will live with them full-time. Home Share Providers are independent contractors who contract directly with Community Connections Support Services to provide Home Share Services in their home. Our agency recruits interested applicants to become approved Home Share Providers so that we always have options available to provide support.
The Home Share Coordinator: The Home Share Coordinator is an employee of Community Connections Support Services and is responsible for monitoring and evaluating Home Share Providers and the support they provide to your family member. Once your family member moves into the home of a Home Share Provider and begins receiving support, they will be assigned a Community Connections Support Services Home Share Coordinator. Your family member’s Home Share Coordinator lives in the same community as your family member so that they can be available to your family member at any time.
The Home Share Service Coordinator: Our Home Share Service Coordinator oversees our Home Share program at Community Connections Support Services. This person is likely to be the first point of contact at our agency for you and your family member. Our Service Coordinator is responsible for screening and approving potential Home Share Providers and determining whether or not we have services that are suitable to the needs of your family member. Our Service Coordinator also supervises our Home Share Coordinators to ensure effective and consistent monitoring of Home Share Providers and manages contracts and payments with Home Share Providers.
How does Community Connections Support Services determine if a Home Share Provider is suitable to provide support to my family member?
At Community Connections, our goal is to facilitate successful matches between Home Share Providers and people who need their support. We do not ‘place’ people and as a consequence, we determine suitability of a match based on the needs, goals, lifestyle and preferences of your family member and whether or not a Home Share Provider has a home atmosphere, a schedule, a family dynamic and similar personal preferences to accommodate and enrich the choices and goals of your family member.
In order to do this, we will need to collect information from your family member, such as:
- Do they want to live with a family? A female or male person only? In town? In the country?
- What kinds of things does your family member need support with? Do they have any medical concerns that a Home Share Provider will need to help them with?
- Who are the important people in the life of your family member that they will want to stay in touch with and see? Does your family member need support to maintain these relationships
- What goals and interests does your family member have?
- Do they need help with transportation? Do they work or go to school or do you spend much of your time at home and will you need your Home Share Provider to be at home with you?
- What kinds of things does your family member like to do?
We also collect information from our Home Share Providers that is relevant to determining a good match, such as:
- What kinds of skills do they have to offer someone who needs support?
- What kind of home do they live in and who else lives with them? Do they live in town or rurally?
- Do they work outside their home or will they be at home and available at all times to provide support?
- Can they provide transportation for your family member?
- What kinds of hobbies do they have and how do they spend their time off and holidays?
By getting to know your family member and our Home Share Provider, we can make sure that they are both able to get what they need from their Home Share relationship with one another.
Will my family member have their own private space that considers their preferences and needs?
Yes. A Home Share Provider must have a separate room or suite available for your family member in order to be considered as an option to provide Home Share Services. Your family member will have a space of their own that they are at liberty to decorate to suit their needs, furnish with their own belongings with doors that close so they can have privacy when they wish. Your family member is also entitled to entertain visitors, including family members. Of course, the Home Share Provider should be notified if anyone is visiting their home.
We will only consider a home and Home Share Provider that will accommodate the needs of your family member in areas such as mobility concerns, bathing and toileting needs, wheelchair accessibility, where applicable and any other safety concerns.
While our expectation is that your family member’s privacy is respected, we also expect that your family member is included in all household activities and is considered ‘part of the family’. We expect that your family member is a contributing and welcome member of the household and is included in celebrations, leisure activities, and social events.
Will my family member receive support to maintain their relationships with family and friends?
Of course. Community Connections Support Services recognizes the importance of preserving those relationships that are important to your family member. Regardless of where you live, our expectation is that our Home Share Providers make all efforts to support your family member to stay in touch, if they wish. This can mean arranging for travel plans, providing or arranging for transportation, supporting your family member to use the phone to call you or a computer to email/skype with you, facilitating visits from you in their home and keeping you updated on plans, medical concerns and/or changes.
A reminder that your family member is an adult and has the right to make their own decisions about their relationships. Our Home Share Providers will only share information with you if your family member provides consent to do so. Our Home Share Providers will make efforts to support your family member to maintain contact with you and other members of his/her family only if your family member expressly chooses to do so.
How does Community Connections Support Services ensure that the Home Share Provider for my family member is skilled and will provide safe and effective supports that address the needs of my family member?
Before an applicant is considered for approval to become a Home Share Provider, they must complete an extensive and comprehensive screening process where they must provide us with:
- two (2) separate and clear criminal record checks
- clear criminal record checks for anyone else in the home who is over 19 years of age
- a current resume and records of relevant training
- three (3) references
- a clean driver’s abstract
- a copy of their current and appropriate BC Driver’s license
- a copy of current and adequate vehicle and house insurance
- a clearance to provide support from their physician
- an emergency management plan and home evacuation floor plan
- current and valid First Aid and CPR certification
- a completed questionnaire identifying the type of support they are prepared to offer
In addition, an applicant must complete a formal home study which includes:
- an interview questionnaire designed to test an applicant’s understanding of support strategies and skills;
- a home visit from one of our Home Share Coordinators to check for appropriate layout of the home, check for the presence of safety equipment and supplies, check for any household or yard hazards that need to be eliminated, repaired or mitigated.
Once the applicant is approved to become a Home Share Provider with our agency, they also complete a comprehensive orientation process that familiarizes them with our policies, procedures and standards for providing Home Share Services.
After your family member moves in with the Home Share Provider, your family member’s Home Share Coordinator will visit the home regularly to conduct monitoring visits. These monitoring visits are formalized processes that assure all standards for providing Home Share Services are being met by the Home Share Provider. These visits are also opportunities for your family member to ask any questions, raise any concerns or ask for additional support.
Additionally, our Home Share Coordinator is responsible to support your family member and the Home Share Provider to develop plans for your family member that ensure all those involved in the support for your family member are aware of their needs, goals and wishes. These plans are called Individualized Service Plans and capture important information regarding your family member as well as goals for the year ahead that may include:
- addressing health issues and/or accessing medical services
- teaching and supporting the acquisition of life skills
- working toward increasing independence
- accessing community
- developing and maintaining relationships
- budgeting and financial management
- opportunities to join and belong to clubs or groups that are of interest
- accessing vocational and/or educational opportunities and support
You are encouraged to participate in planning for your family member and are welcome to attend at planning meetings, if your family member wishes. It’s a good opportunity for you to receive updates for your family member and contribute to their plans.
Once Community Connections finds a suitable Home Share Provider for my family member, do they have to move in right away?
No. Unless your family member has an emergent need to move quickly, your family member and their potential Home Share Provider will have an opportunity to go through a transition period. We will first make introductions between the Home Share Provider and your family member so that there is a chance for both to get to know the other. If introductions go well, and both parties are in agreement, we can set up an opportunity for your family member to spend a couple of days at the Home Share Provider’s home to get a better sense of the suitability of the match. We help your family member move into their new home only after he/she and the Home Share Provider let us know that they are both comfortable with the move and feel confident that the match will be successful.
What happens after my family member moves into the home of the Home Share Provider?
Once a decision is made to go ahead with the match and the move, your family member’s Home Share Coordinator will ensure that the Home Share Provider has all the information they need to provide effective support, including:
- A list of all of their personal belongings so we can make sure that they come with them.
- Phone numbers and email addresses for those people in your family member’s life that are important to them and they want to stay in touch with.
- Information about your family member’s medications, if they need help to take them.
- Information about what kinds of other support needs your family member may have.
- Contact information for any medical professionals that your family member sees.
- Your family member’s personal schedule for things like work, school, clubs, sports or day program activities that they attend or belong to.
At this stage, the Home Share Provider completes a second orientation process that is designed to address service needs specific to your family member. The Home Share Provider is also expected to assist in moving your family member to their home and setting up their new living space. This is another opportunity for you to participate in the Home Share Services of your family member and we hope that you can be available to help with the move.
Once your family member has moved in, their Home Share Coordinator will visit the home within a few weeks to ensure the transition has been successful and check in with your family member to ensure their needs are being addressed. Of course, your family member is at liberty to contact their Home Share Coordinator at any time if any concerns arise.
What can I do if I have concerns about the support that my family member is receiving?
If you are concerned about your family member or the support they are receiving, we hope that you will speak to their Home Share Provider first. Often, the Home Share Provider can pass along important information that may help you understand what is happening for your family member. Ideally, you and the Home Share Provider can explore options and identify some solutions together.
If you are unable to get resolution with the Home Share Provider and remain concerned about your family member and/or the support they are receiving, you can call your family member’s Home Share Coordinator. The Home Share Coordinator needs to know if there are concerns that need to be addressed with the Home Share Provider or with your family member. They will listen to your concerns and make attempts to reach resolution with the Home Share Provider or attempt to get your family member the support he or she needs.
If after speaking with the Home Share Coordinator, you remain unsatisfied with the outcome, you can call the Home Share Service Coordinator for assistance to reach resolution to your concern or to provide you with additional resources and contacts that may help you.
*Note: If at any time you believe that your family member is in danger, you must call emergency services (911) and his or her Home Share Coordinator immediately.